Babes in bras seem to be all over the boob tube -- unless those babes happen to be a little big.
Lane Bryant is accusing Fox and ABC of a "double standard" over restrictions for their new lingerie commercial starring a curvy cutie in her bras and panties.
The plus-size retailer has charged that the networks had refused to air the sexy ad without substantial edits.
"ABC and Fox have made the decision to define beauty for you by denying our new, groundbreaking Cacique commercial from airing freely on their networks," Lane Bryant says.
According to the company, ABC "restricted our airtime" by denying it a slot during "Dancing with the Stars," while Fox "demanded excessive re-edits and rebuffed it three times before relenting to air it during the final 10 minutes of 'American Idol,' but only after we threatened to pull the ad buy."
But ABC says Lane Bryant is full of hot air, and their claims are no more than a publicity stunt. The broadcasting company issued a statement today saying they did not treat Lane Bryant any differently than other advertisers.
"Their statements are not true," it said. "The ad was accepted. Lane Bryant was treated absolutely no differently than any advertiser for the same product. We were willing to accommodate them, but they chose to seek publicity instead."
In response, Lane Bryant says, "ABC's statement that 'Lane Bryant was treated absolutely no differently than any advertiser for the same product' is simply not true."
"There was absolutely no rationale for us to be relegated to the back of the bus, when our ads were no more risqué than those of Victoria's Secret. The only difference is the size of our models. We would have expected better from a company owned by Disney."
Lane Bryant also released a memo, which they say is from ABC, dated April 9. It states, "UPON APPROVAL, THIS COMMERCIAL IS RESTRICTED FROM THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMMING/TIME PERIODS (ET): Post 9 PM: Extreme Makeover, Home Edition and Wipeout, Animated Wonderful World of Disney, Wonderful World of Disney, Dancing With the Stars, America's Funniest Videos, Game Shows."
Drama! So what allegedly got the networks -- which frequently run lingerie ads from the likes of Victoria's Secret -- so hot and bothered?
According to their blog, the Inside Curve, "The networks exclaimed, 'She has...cleavage!' Gasp!"
WATCH THE LANE BRYANT COMMERCIAL
"Yes, these are the same networks that have scantily clad housewives so desperate they seduce every man on the block -- and don't forget Bart Simpson, who has shown us the moon more often than NASA, all in what they call 'family hour.'
"While it's no secret that Victoria's Secret 'The Nakeds' ads are prancing around on major networks leaving little to the imagination, steaming up TV screens and baring nearly everything but their souls, our sultry siren who shows sophisticated sass is somehow deemed inappropriate...
"Does this smack of a double standard? Yep. It does to us, too."
That Victoria's Secret "The Nakeds" commercial -- which, according to Lane Bryant, ran at the half-hour break during "American Idol" -- they're talking about?
It stars Chanel Iman and co. writhing in bras and panties, complete with a close-up crotch shot, sexy lighting, suggestive poses and a bra designed to look like you're nude.
WATCH THE VICTORIA'S SECRET COMMERCIAL
By contrast, the Lane Bryant ad, while starring a more buxom leading lady, is pretty sedate, with a basic voiceover and no suggestive imagery (watch it, above)
Lingerie or no, Lane Bryant isn't taking this snub lying down.
The company is now asking supporters to share their thoughts online -- on their Facebook page and elsewhere -- and share news of the controversy to "everyone who shares the view that beauty is in the eye of the beholder not the hands of a television network."
We don't see what the big deal is. If ABC can show us Dennis Franz's bare butt, surely they can deal with a few womanly curves!
What do you think? How does the Lane Bryant commercial stack up to Victoria's Secret? And should we be able to see cleavage during prime time, or should it be barred all together?
Meanwhile, check out Bravissimo's plus-size lingerie campaign.