Saucy boutique under fire over lingerie ads

THE FOUNDER of lingerie label Honey Birdette has defended the brand over complaints about images outside their boutiques in two of Brisbane's biggest shopping centres.

The Advertising Standards Bureau confirmed it had received complaints about posters used in the label's latest campaign.

Titled Indecent Manor, the campaign was shot in a French chateau where two women meet for an affair.

Still images from the latest collection are now showing on rotation outside Honey Birdette boutiques, while a video of the photo shoot is available online.

A Brisbane woman took to Facebook inviting shoppers to complain to shopping centre management about the still images outside a Honey Birdette boutique.

 

One of the images from Honey Birdette's Indecent Manor campaign now on display in Brisbane shopping centres.
One of the images from Honey Birdette's Indecent Manor campaign now on display in Brisbane shopping centres.

 

"I'm not a prude but I find the fact that Honey Birdette has a poster of a not far from bare breasted woman in the front window of their store at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre wrong," she wrote.

"I find it quite distasteful, unacceptable and demeaning to women when many children walk past this store on a daily basis and many families shop here."

Director of the Centre for Human Dignity and Queensland Director of the Australian Christian Lobby Wendy Francis accused Honey Birdette of ignoring community standards and any sense of corporate responsibility to protect children's innocence.

"If these posters were in a workplace, they would be deemed to be sexist and offensive and they would have to be removed," she said.

An advertising image now in Brisbane shopping centres.
An advertising image now in Brisbane shopping centres.


"Honey Birdette ignore Ad Standards and put up something even more offensive. There are no penalties. There is no downside, except for the loss of innocence for children and the sexual exploitation put on women. They make our shopping centres unsafe places for women and children, and groom our young boys to have an appetite for pornography."

But Honey Birdette's managing director Eloise Monaghan - who opened the boutique in Brisbane in 2006 - defended the label and it's latest campaign.

"It's 2018. It's ridiculous," she said.

"You'd see more touching in a food court, and it's parents' responsibility to explain to their kids that two women can be together."

 

Ms Monaghan said the latest collection was the label's best selling of all time.

"I'm married to a female partner myself and I'm extremely proud of this campaign and what it stands for," she said.

"Why is it inappropriate for two women to be together? This campaign is more of a personal one for me. After we went through the (same-sex marriage) plebiscite and the ridiculousness around it. That was really the reason behind it."

Ms Monaghan said the advertising was not sleazy.

"That's not how I view my company. We're 90 per cent female in our office. Our team absolutely love it," she said.

"The funny thing is it doesn't raise an eyebrow in the States or the UK."

Ms Monaghan said she and her company were very proud of what they do.

"I walked past a Calvin Klein ad the other day, but does anyone cry out about that? I don't understand," she said.

"It's okay for a men's magazine to be in a newsagency facing out with boobs everywhere, but when Honey Birdette does it in a classy manner for women and by women - I don't know what these groups are afraid of," she said.

"Women can be sexual, we can be empowered, we can love to look fantastic whether it's for ourselves or for a partner."