These risqué images in Victoria’s Secret stores show why the brand is struggling in the #MeToo era

Racy ads behind the cash register in a Victoria's Secret Manhattan store.

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Racy ads behind the cash register in a Victoria’s Secret Manhattan store.
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Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

  • New data from brand insights firm YouGov showed that women’s perception of Victoria’s Secret has declined since 2013.
  • The company has found itself caught up in the #MeToo moment and been criticized for its over sexualized ads.
  • These ads threaten to negatively impact its sister brand, PINK. In February, mothers of teenage shoppers complained on Facebook that the risqué photos in Victoria’s Secret were inappropriate for young girls shopping at PINK.

Victoria’s Secret is ostracizing female customers with its risqué ads.

This month, new data from brand insights firm YouGov showed that women’s perception of Victoria’s Secret has declined since 2013. Its so-called “Buzz score,” which tracks how customers feel about brands based on what they see and hear, saw a decline as Victoria’s Secret lost favor with women aged between 18-49.

According to YouGov, the brand has found itself caught up in the #MeToo moment – it’s annual Fashion show, featuring its famous “Angels,” aired only a month after allegations of sexual harassment came out against Harvey Weinstein. The show saw its television ratings sink 30%, YouGov researched Paul Hiebert wrote.

Victoria’s Secret did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

In the past, the company has been criticized for putting off customers with its over sexualized ads.

In 2016, one of itsFacebookphotos got heat for being so overtly sexual that it was borderline pornographic. Customers on Facebook were furious and called it “trashy,” Business Insider reported.

In February, mothers of teenage shoppers complained on Facebook that its risque marketing was offensive to teen customers who are shopping at its PINK brand.

“It’s basically pornography,” shopper Jessie Shealy wrote on Victoria’s Secret’s Facebook page, referring to the ads on display in her local store in South Carolina.

This is especially concerning for the company as its PINK label has become one of its only areas of growth.

Shealy shared photos from her local Victoria’s Secret store with Business Insider.

Editor’s Note: Some of these photos might not be considered safe for work.


This image hangs directly behind the checkout area at the store. Shealy described the images as “obscene.”

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Jessie Shealy

Shealy has reached out to the company to request separate checkout areas for PINK and Victoria’s Secret shoppers.

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Jessie Shealy

Victoria’s Secret has been called out for its over sexualized ads in the past. Another shopper wrote on Facebook: “The sexualization of girls has gotten worse and worse over the years.”

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Jessie Shealy

In the store we visited in Manhattan, there was a separate checkout for Victoria’s Secret and PINK.

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Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

And, there were separate fitting rooms.

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Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

This entire space was devoted to PINK apparel.

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Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

However, just a few steps away, you’ll find the risqué lingerie.

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Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

These ads could be considered inappropriate for the younger PINK customer shopping in the store.

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Business Insider/Mary Hanbury