Victoria's Secret is known for its risque fashions, but some parents think the brand has crossed the line with items in their "Bright Young Things" campaign. A father wrote an open letter, parents started a petition and a Facebook page was created alleging that the provocative underwear was targeted at teen and tween girls.
Items in the PINK campaign with the slogan "Bright Young Things" reportedly include underwear with words and phrases like "dare you," "feeling lucky" and "call me" on the front and back. PINK is the line of items at Victoria's Secret targeted at younger women.
Links that appear to be to the products are re-directing to the Victoria's Secrets homepage so it is unclear if the company has removed the products. Representatives for the company did not wish to comment beyond a statement that was posted on their Facebook page insisting that "Bright Young Things" was simply a slogan.
A Texas father of a 3-year-old girl wrote and open letter to the company that has gone viral.
"I don't want my daughter to ever think that her self-worth and acceptance by others is based on the choice of her undergarments," Evan Dolive wrote. "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."
"I want my daughter (and every girl) to be faced with tough decisions in her formative years of adolescence," he wrote. "Decisions like should I be a doctor or a lawyer? Should I take calculus as a junior or a senior? Do I want to go to Texas A&M or University of Texas or some Ivy League school? Should I raise awareness for slave trafficking or lack of water in developing nations? There are many, many more questions that all young women should be asking themselves…not will a boy (or girl) like me if I wear a 'call me' thong?"
Victoria's Secret insists that the "Bright Young Things" was just a slogan used to coincide with spring break and not a new collection targeted at younger girls.
"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 company posted on their Facebook page.
Their post received 1,300 comments and 1,000 shares on Facebook so far, continuing the debate for and against the ads.
"OK honestly who cares if they are wanting to reach out to a younger crowd? Isn't that the point of business, to expand their fields and make money? Besides, anyone who has shopped VS knows their PINK line is no where near considered sexy," one woman wrote defending the brand.
"Disgusted. Just own up to your mistakes instead of denying them. I will never shop at Victoria's secret again. You really think 'I dare you' undies are aimed at college aged women? I think not," another commenter wrote.
Comments made by Victoria's Secret chief financial officer Stuart Burgdoerfer in January are also drawing fire.
"When somebody's 15 or 16 years old, what do they want to be?" Burgdoerfer said at a conference, according to Bloomberg. "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."
Additionally, there is a "Dear Victoria's Secret: Pull 'Bright Young Things'" Facebook page and a Change.org petition penned by a mother of three in Washington that has more than 1,000 supporters.