The lingerie brand has invested heavily into its teen brand, Pink, and even geared its annual fashion show toward a younger audience.
Victoria’s Secret’s new ad campaign confirms its intense focus on the tween market.
It’s called “Bright Young Things” and focuses on colorful lingerie, sweatpants, t-shirts, and backpacks.
However, parents, specifically parents with blogs, are in a tizzy over Victoria’s Secret’s alleged new “tween line” aimed at young girls.
Parents took to the Victoria’s Secret Facebook page to complain, accusing the lingerie giant of “sexualizing our daughters” and “making it hard to raise wholesome children”.
The level of anger surrounding the rumored line was huge though, with hundreds of parents threatening to boycott the chain.
There is even a petition demanding that the advertising campaign be withdrawn and that the Bright Young Things line not target teenagers at all.
The news sparked inevitable uproar from parents like Evan Dolive, who penned an open letter to Victoria’s Secret on his personal blog.
“I don’t want my daughter to ever think that to be popular or even attractive she has to have emblazon words on her bottom,” he wrote.
Another blogger echoed the sentiment, writing that Bright Young Things “furthers a trend of sexualizing girls younger and younger.” The Victoria’s Secret Facebook page started overflowing with angry comments.
One commenter wrote: “You are selling out a generation of young women to make a buck with your “Bright Young Things” line. It is irresponsible and disgusting to market that level of sexually suggestive items to girls. As an adult, I will no longer be shopping in your store.”
And one women admitted to being a longtime fan of the brand, yet refuses to shop there any longer.
“I have shopped regularly at Victoria’s Secret for a decade and will no longer be supporting your business,” she wrote.
“It’s a shame because I love your product, but I cannot support a company that seeks to sexualize children.”
This afternoon, Victoria’s Secret responded to the complaints with a statement on its Facebook page, insisting that it has no plans to launch a line for college-age women.
“In response to questions we recently received, Victoria’s Secret PINK is a brand for college-aged women. Despite recent rumors, we have no plans to introduce a collection for younger women. “Bright Young Things” was a slogan used in conjunction with the college spring break tradition.”
The whole misunderstanding started when Stuart Burgdoerfer , the company’s chief financial officer, said at a conference:
“When somebody’s 15 or 16 years old, what do they want to be? They want to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college, and that’s part of the magic of what we do at Pink.”
Victoria’s Secret has not, then, adopted a new policy to target younger girls than it already does. But that doesn’t change the fact that PINK has and continues to target teens, whose preferences tend to rub off on tweens.
It also doesn’t change the fact that PINK’s offerings for spring 2013 include underwear with the word “Wild” across the butt and a beach towel with the phrase “Kiss Me.”