Are These Too Much? - NBC 7 San Diego

Are These Too Much?

Using sex to sell isn't new but some shoppers say retailers are taking it too far

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    Are These Too Much?
    One of the ads on display inside Horton Malls that have some shoppers doing double takes.

    Using sex to sell is not exactly a new advertising tool but when it's in the middle of the shopping mall, some shoppers say retailers are taking it too far.
    Outside Fredricks of Hollywood at Horton Plaza, there is a sign that's making some shoppers blush.  On the windows of Victoria's secret - a similar sight, though some say it's not so bad.

    SDSU Marketing Professor Mickey Belch says over the last few years, the FCC has loosened their standards when it comes to advertising on television and the trend is trickling down.
     “For the longest time you couldn't even show a woman in a bra in advertising,” said SDSU marketing professor Mickey Belch. “You could show the bra, you could show a woman with a sweater on with the bra over top. You couldn't show a bra.”
    Even though these stores specialize in bras and underwear, some asking if it’s just the underwear they’re selling?
     “It's inappropriate,” said shopper Martha Protzman. “They can put it inside the store and not out where all the children are walking by.”
    And then there are those who say the ad is offensive yes - but for a different reason.  “I'm just upset that my butt doesn't look like that,” said shopper Jennifer Courson.

    Westfield Shoppingtown owns Horton Plaza. Their spokesperson Steve Fluhr released  this statement about controversial ads outside tenant stories in their mall.

    "It's up to each store how they use their advertising space. Both of the stores mentioned are lingerie shops and they are advertising for the goods they sell. As long as what is being advertised is not illegal, the mall does not involve itself."