Calvin Klein Released A Sexist Ad and People Were Not Impressed


Earlier this year, Calvin Klein launched their spring campaign titled #mycalvins

Featuring celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber posing in their Calvin Klein underwear, the campaign quickly became one of the most talked about advertisements of the year. 

You might have even seen some of these images on your Instagram feed or magazine pages already. 


While the campaign was generally well-received, many were not happy about the two posters that appeared side-by-side on a billboard in New York City.

One of the images featured actress Klara Kristin "seducing" in her Calvins, while the neighboring image featured rapper Fetty Wap with the caption "I make money in #mycalvins."

In a petition the co-founder of underwear company ThirdLove Heidi Zak, called out the ad as being sexist, and demanded the posters be removed. She invited people to support the campaign by signing it and using the hashtag #MoreThanMyUnderwear and #NotInMyCalvins. 

"The billboard propagates an archaic and offensive gender stereotype that women are nothing more than sexual objects while men are the breadwinners," Zak states in her petition. "Calvin Klein has a vast assortment of content for this campaign, so we find it appalling that the company chose to put these two images side-by-side in one of the most highly visible intersections in the country."

To show how passersby reacted to the poster, Zak asked people to give their thoughts on the particular billboard in a video she posted to YouTube March 18.  

"They are portraying a young woman in less clothing on, and for the male ... it's just his face. And I don't think that's right." points out one person in the video.

"It's unfortunate that so much advertising is dependent on perpetuating these stereotypes about what men and women are, and what their value is," says another woman.

"It's a double standard and not something we should put out there like this," a man agrees.

"This billboard was taken down overnight as part of the planned rotation of our spring 2016 advertising campaign," it says in Calvin Klein's PR statement sent to Refinery29. "We take all of our consumers' concerns seriously and as a global brand, we promote gender equality and the breakdown of gender stereotypes across the world." 

Though the brand stated the billboard was taken down as part of their planned rotation, it's clear Zak's petition caught their attention. This victory may seem small, but when big brands are made aware that their consumers will not stand for sexism, positive change can occur. To boot, it only took 242 supporter on Zak's campaign to get noticed by Calvin Klein, which proves the simple act of speaking up can help make a difference. 

Watch the entire video below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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