Lingerie company Gossard is to re-launch a sheer bra with a controversial advert that prompted a storm of criticism when it first appeared.
Gossard’s Glossies famously advertised in the nineties with a picture of model Sophie Anderton wearing the transparent lingerie, reclining on a bed of hay with the strapline: "Who says women can’t get pleasure from something soft?"
It attracted hundreds of complaints to the Advertising Standards Agency from people who said they were offended when it went up on billboards 15 years ago, prompting a huge enquiry.
But following demand from customers, the company has brought the range back with an updated advert, featuring Gossard girl Elle Liberachi mirroring Sophie’s original pose alongside the same controversial strapline.
A spokeswoman from Gossard believes attitudes have changed and Britain is now much more comfortable with a tongue-in-cheek campaign of this nature.
She said: “Customers kept asking us when we were going to bring Glossies back so we bowed to popular opinion and reinvented them.
“The Glossies advert wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea at the time, but when we surveyed our customers we discovered attitudes had changed so we decided to run the campaign again with a new model.
“Women can be confident and comfortable wearing Glossies, and we’re confident and comfortable that they’ll love the new campaign.”
Before relaunching the advert, Gossard surveyed 2,000 customers and found over 90 percent were not offended by the advert, with 77 percent saying they thought attitudes had changed towards this style of advertisement
Nearly 60 per cent of those questioned stated that they liked it, with 50 per cent saying they thought it was amusing.
The results were in marked contrast to the reaction to the original launch, which prompted a media storm back in 1996 when press criticism prompted hundreds of people to write to the ASA.
The advertising watchdog refused to uphold the complaints but as a result of the enquiry, warned advertisers to demonstrate ‘greater sensitivity’ to the use of female images in adverts.
In stark contrast, the campaign was so successful that sales rocketed by 600 per cent, making it one of Gossard’s best-selling ranges.
Gossard first developed the sheer Glossies range in the 1970s to provide a ‘natural’ look under clothes.
The up-dated version, which coincides with a seventies revival in fashion, uses lightweight, sensuous sheer fabric that hugs curves and creates a sexy yet comfortable fit.
Glossies come in nude and black, with the bra priced £26, shorts £12 and thong £10. See www.gossard.com or call 0115 924 6767 for more details.