Look, I know, right? They're only doing their jobs and it fell to someone in the retained agency Stella Artois employs to come up with a catchphrase. There had to be a catchphrase, a hashtaggable piece of blah that people could electronically write at one another whenever something amazing happened. Something that conveyed all the heritage, excitement, aspirational and 'fucking hell!' All encapsulated in one crapulous assortment of letters.
Just Do It.
The client had said something as good as 'just do it' - quotable, meaningful and concise and brilliant in equal measure. And the people knew they could never come up with something as good but they had come up with something so they started to brainstorm. When they could have been walking in the beautiful British countryside, enjoying a great pub lunch, reading a great book or just having sex - they were brainstorming instead.
And someone in a room about half a mile north of Euston stopped gnawing on their pencil and said '........ #belegacy'? And someone wrote it down on a whiteboard with a bit of a crinkled nose to suggest they thought it sucked balls but felt tipped it next to the other ones anyway.
And seven people looked at the hashtags and felt a well of sadness in the pit of their chests and looked out across London; for a second they faced up to what a colossal waste of time and energy it all was and teared up as they thought of fields, beaches, friendship and the baby birds in the early summer trees.
They thought of being six, 11, 18, 21. Times in their lives when anything could have happened. They could have done any job, gone anywhere, been with anyone and done anything. Before the job, spouse, car and house that now defined them. Before hashtags.
And then they thought of the deadline and the client and the bonus and the graphic designers waiting for the brief. And they knew the graphic designers longed to create quirky, minimalistic magazines about food, bikes, tech and architecture. And they knew the graphic designers would have to make these utterly insignificant gestures of marketing fart, which would then be returned by a client making just enough changes to make their job seem meaningful.
— Harry Wallop (@hwallop) July 4, 2016
And they thought of the people who would hear #belegacy - and they knew the people would hate it and see through it and they knew they'd have to do it anyway. They'd have to approve #belegacy and tweet it and actually say it while looking enthusiastic, for God's sake. And they knew there'd have to be an app. And someone would have to be paid half a million dollars for Facebooking, tweeting and Instagramming #belegacy with some pictures of beer and sunsets.
And they thought of being children, and they thought of love and family and the meaning of it all and they thought of being dead.
And a little switch flicked off for a fraction of a second and then flicked back on again. And they nodded and wrote things down and agreed that Jasper would action that item and left the room.
And they looked down at the streets below and thought how the people and cars looked like ants. And they knew whatever happened from that point onwards there would always #belegacy.
"Oh, hello, what's this. Maybe some pictures of women in the nip..."
"This Body-Positive Ad Starring Ashley Graham Has Been Banned For Being ‘Too Sexy’!"
"Well, I'm outraged about this. After all, who'd ban a body-positive ad? Apart from MANSPLAINING MEN!"
"Just when you think we’re beginning to make grounds in breaking down one-size-fits-all beauty boundaries within the media, two major US TV networks go and ban a body-positive advert featuring plus-sized models including Sports Illustrated cover girl Ashley Graham."
"JUST when we're beginning to make grounds in breaking down one-size-fits-all beauty boundaries within the media. I wonder if Donald Trump has something to do with this."
"The new ad, part of Lane Bryant’s body positive campaign #ThisBody, features Ashley and other plus-sized models wearing either lingerie or nothing at all and sharing the aspect of their body that make them most proud, with the phrase “This body..”
"Good on them. Women should be proud of their bodies. Maybe not so much if they have significant health problems as a result of obesity. Hmm. better make sure I never say that out loud."
The 30-second clip was designed to empower women and encourage them to celebrate body-positivity and diversity in an unapologetic way. The ad does include some close-up shots of body-parts and a breastfeeding model, but it’s not anything we haven’t seen before, say on a Dove advert. Unfortunately though, both ABC and NBC, don’t agree and have rejected the empowering advert for being too ‘sexy’.
"After all the empowering too. What possible reason could they have to reject the empowering advert, which is empowering? They probably hate empowerment. After all we've all seen nips on Dove advert, probably. Probably just too empoweringly sexy for The Man!"
Neither network has publicly said specifically why they’ve chosen not to run the commercial but a representative from NBC denied the network had outright ‘rejected’ the ad.
"Those sons of bitches.. hang on, they HAVEN'T rejected it?"
“As part of the normal advertising standards process, we reviewed a rough cut of the ad and asked for minor edits to comply with broadcast indecency guidelines,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “The ad was not rejected and we welcome the updated creative.”
"So they haven't banned it. That would put a wholly different complexion on the whole issue I guess. I wonder why they only pointed that out at the end of the article. It's almost as if the company behind the advert and the reporter were complicit in a spot of collective ignorance that would be mutually beneficial in terms of the resulting publicity if - for example - the whole story was given the dubious slant of body-positive images of breastfeeding women being banned simply because they' plus-sized and breastfeeding. Like the sort of thing would play REALLY well on social media because it would annoy people AND feature women running around in the nip. Almost as if the company who put out this advert and complained about it NOT being banned - and the reporter for Yahoo! - were kind of exploiting the nudiness of the plus-size models for their own benefit."
But Lane Bryant have hinted they believe the reason behind the snub could be due to the models’ ‘sizes’.
In a statement about the subject they wrote:
“The This Body campaign was meant to be a fun way for us to celebrate and honor women of all shapes and sizes. What is too much for some does not hold true for others. All women should be celebrated and feel empowered to express themselves as they see fit. We want her to know she can attract as much media attention, look just as striking as any woman, and decide what beautiful means to her. The This Body commercial holds nothing back. It is a true celebration of women of all sizes doing what makes THEM feel beautiful whether its breastfeeding their newborn, flaunting their bodies the way they see fit, breaking down barriers all around and simply being who they are or want to be!”
"Good on em! Yay girls! At least we got to see loads of hot chicks running around in the nip. And indulged in some righteous anger on Facebook. And maybe that's the point..."
Warning: The extremely graphic but empowering banned adverts are included below