Honey Birdette founder brushes off new criticism as 'ridiculous'

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 10 November 2017
Honey Birdette's Office Party

At a time when issues of sexism and harassment in the workplace have never been more in the spotlight, controversial lingerie brand Honey Birdette has rolled out a holiday campaign that some are saying is oblivious to the current dialogue.

The ad has garnered global attention with some claiming it “sexualises women” and slamming the ad as "disgusting porn".

Founder of Eloise Monaghan brushed off the criticisms as “ridiculous”.

“There’s a disturbing conservative theme out there, but we will keep doing what we do!” she wrote online.

“Women can embrace their sexuality without fear of assault.”

The ad, hosted on social media, depicts models dressed in lingerie dancing in an office and drinking Champagne surround predominantly by suited-up businessmen.

Stills from the ad campaign have also attracted negative attention within shopping centres around Australia, with parents petitioning for the “provocative” images to be removed.

The Advertising Standards Bureau confirmed there had been some objection to the advertising campaign, saying the agency had received “a few” complaints about posters in store windows. An ASB spokeswoman said the bureau had heard no complaints about the label’s TV ads or its Facebook campaign.

The video for the new Honey Birdette line has received a number of negative comments on Facebook.

“This ad is terrible. Who thought it was a bright idea to further sexualise women in the workplace? Meanwhile fully dressed men pour champagne and gaze at their female colleagues?” one woman wrote.

Honey Birdette is used to landing in the headlines, with at least a dozen of its ads receiving complaints to the ad watchdog and several being banned in the past.

It's same-sex marriage equality rally was even featured on Media Watch with host Paul Barry calling its support for the cause a "marketing stunt". 

In the past, causing controversy has had a positive impact on the brand and the company says the Office Party campaign has already led to a spike in sales.

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