Since Janet Jackson’s breast baring incident at the Super Bowl,television officials and the Federal Communications Commission(FCC) have been careful to censor certain types of programming. Theresponse to the Super Bowl incident has prompted the FCC to censorthings considered indecent and punish those who violate lawsagainst indecency on the airwaves. Although the show has receivedcriticism for being somewhat racy, representatives for Victoria’sSecret, which is owned by Limited Brands Inc., uphold that theirdecision to cancel this year’s fashion show had nothing to do withthe Super Bowl incident or pressure from the FCC. “Clearly, wecould’ve gotten the show on air if we wanted to,” says EdRazek, Chief marketing officer for Limited. “Some are sayingthat the show is not running because of the Super Bowl incident,but that’s not really the case.”
Since 2001, the Victoria’s Secret fashion show has been heldannually as a means of promoting the latest collection offered bythe company. However, a decline in ratings has given Victoria’sSecret officials a reason to look for other ways to promote thebrand. In 2001, the fashion show was televised for the first timeon the ABC network. 12.3 million viewers tuned into the show, whichwas aired on the ABC network. When the show returned in 2002, CBSnetwork aired the show and only 10.5 million viewers tuned in. Withonly 9.4 million viewers in 2003, it was time to find a new way topromote the Victoria’s Secret brand. “It’s fashion, and wecan’t always use the same way to promote the brand,” saysRazek.