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News
Victoria's show wows Web
May 18, 2000: 8:01 p.m. ET

Millions tune in on the Web to watch Victoria's Secret models on the catwalk
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Talk about stopping traffic. Victoria's Secret ran half-naked models across the information superhighway Thursday afternoon, broadcasting its 2000 Cannes fashion show live on the Web.

graphicThough Victoria's Secret did not yet have firm data about the success of the Webcast, it reported that it went more smoothly than last year's show, which caused technical problems when 1.5 million users logged on to watch, a record for a Webcast audience.

Cindy Fields, the chief executive officer of the lingerie retailer's Internet and catalogue divisions, told CNNfn that the Webcast, part of an AIDS research benefit, achieved its main objectives. "Number one, we raised money for AIDS research," she said. "Number two, we raised global awareness of the Victoria's Secret brand."

That may be so, but many viewers efforts to watch the 3 p.m. (EDT) show were fruitless, possibly because the crush of viewers overburdened the Web site's ability to provide access.

  VIDEO
To see the Victoria's Secret website and watch the fashion show video, Click Here
Victoria's Secret estimated that more than 2 million people would view the show at some point on Thursday, either live, or via a replay on the site. The company was unable to provide figures for the number of viewers who could not see the broadcast.

Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Richard Baum couldn't see it either. Still, he thought that the Webcast probably raised global awareness of the Victoria's Secret brand, if only because of the hype surrounding it.

"Last year, they did this in conjunction with the Super Bowl, and the main target was the U.S.," Baum said. "This year's target was Europe. It's probably as big a deal in Europe as last year's was here."

Several Internet-access management companies, which help clients filter out undesirable content, gathered around like lawyers at an accident scene and issued dire statements Thursday morning about the perils of broadcasting women in lingerie during working hours. Baum, however, didn't think a great many U.S. viewers would tune in during working hours.

Responding to reports of people having trouble seeing the Webcast, Fields said Victoria's Secret tried to avoid technical snafus this time around. (416K WAV) or (416K AIF)

graphicShe explained the technical problems by saying, "The Internet is still in its infancy. We are very aggressive and push the cutting edge, and we're going to keep trying."

The company, which said it is very happy and satisfied with the event, explained that many Webcast participants denied live access to the show, were digitally escorted to an "e-lounge," where they could see other Victoria Secret video content or shop.

Once space became available, viewers bumped into the overflow room were offered an option to move onto the live portion of the Webcast.

"We believe that vast majority of people had an excellent experience," said Ken Weil, Vice President of New Media for Victoria Secret.

Keynote, a company that measures Internet performance, was hired by Victoria's Secret to judge the effectiveness of its Webcast. They told CNNfn that preliminary data seemed to show that people had an easier time accessing the Webcast than they did last year, and the lingerie company's home page download time only slowed down by about two seconds. Last year, many people could not access the site at all during the Webcast.

As Fields pointed out, the event created buzz, which was one of Victoria's Secret's main objectives. (453K WAV) or (453K AIF)

Victoria Secret's representatives said the event cost between $9 million and $10 million to produce. More than $2.6 million was raised for AIDS research.

Victoria's Secret stores are operated by Intimate Brands (IBI: Research, Estimates), which is owned in large part by The Limited Inc. (LTD: Research, Estimates). Shares of Intimate Brands closed Thursday down 3/4 to 44-9/16 while shares of The Limited edged up 1/16 to 48-1/2. Back to top

  RELATED STORIES

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.