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News > Fortune 500

Victoria's Secret is out
But Limited Brands says Jackson's Super Bowl incident isn't why it is canceling the televised show.
April 12, 2004: 5:20 PM EDT
By Joseph Lee, CNN/Money Staff Writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Victoria's Secret, owned by Limited Brands Inc., is dropping its racy televised fashion show this year, but a spokesman for the company told CNN/Money on Monday that it has very little to do with Janet Jackson's breast-baring move at this year's Super Bowl.

Limited Brands Inc., owner of the Victoria's Secret chain of lingerie stores, decides to cancel this year's lingerie TV show.

"Some are saying that the show is not running because of the Super Bowl incident, but that's not really the case," said Ed Razek, chief marketing officer for Limited. "Clearly, we could've gotten the show on air if we wanted to."

Instead, Razek said the company will spend the $10 million used to produce the show in previous years to promote the brand in different ways.

"It's fashion, and we can't always use the same way to promote the brand," he added.

Speculations linked the decision to the controversial Super Bowl incident because the agreement to cancel was reached only weeks after one of Jackson's breasts was exposed during her Super Bowl halftime performance on CBS.

CBS has carried the Victoria's Secret show for the last two years.

Ratings for the television special, however, haven't been a great success for the TV network.

The show averaged 9.4 million viewers last year, down 10 percent from 10.5 million viewers in 2002. It generated 12.3 million viewers in 2001, when the ABC network televised the show for the first time.

Victoria's Secret
Howard Stern

"It wasn't sizzling in the ratings before," said John Higgins, deputy editor with Broadcasting & Cable magazine. "Now, with all the government pressure about broadcast indecency, it's certainly not worth the heat for either side."

The Federal Communications Commission has been under pressure to punish indecency on the airwaves since the Super Bowl incident. Last week, the commission proposed $495,000 in fines against Clear Channel Communications Inc. for airing indecent comments made by shock jock Howard Stern.

The fashion show normally airs in November, just before the start of the holiday shopping season.

In the past, the Victoria's Secret fashion show has generated criticism from conservative groups complaining about underwear models strutting down the runway in skimpy lingerie on national TV.

CBS declined to comment for this story.

Viacom Inc. (VIA.B: Research, Estimates) is the parent of CBS, while the ABC network is a division of Walt Disney Co. (DIS: Research, Estimates).  Top of page

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