Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to leave network TV

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(courtesy of Victoria’s Secret)

The controversial Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which has aired on CBS and ABC for almost two decades, has chosen to leave broadcast TV.

In an internal memo sent Friday to employees, Les Wexner, chairman and chief executive of L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, said the show would no longer air on network TV.

“Going forward we don’t believe network television is the right fit,” Wexner wrote in the memo first obtained and reported on by The Wall Street Journal. He goes on to say the company plans on developing a new kind of event and content that “will push boundaries of fashion in the global digital age.”

Wexner is not off-base with his decision. Viewership for the show has dropped by roughly two-thirds within five years. Last year, it drew an audience of 3.3 million viewers, down from 9.7 million viewers in 2013.

In 2018, the show moved back to ABC and experimented with streaming the show online on ABC, on the ABC app and through YouTube TV and Hulu Live.

The fashion show also attracted unwanted attention late last year, when Edward Razek, the chief marketing officer of L Brands, came under fire for comments he made about casting plus size and transgender models in the event.

“So it’s like, why don’t you do 50?” Mr. Razek said, referring to sizing, in an interview with Vogue. “Why don’t you do 60? Why don’t you do 24? It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special.”

Reel 360 reported on music icon Rihanna launching her own lingerie brand in response.

Mr. Wexner said in his memo on Friday that the newly appointed head of the Victoria’s Secret lingerie business and his team were “re-birthing the brand,” and expressed his excitement about its future.

“We have made enormous progress in a very short time, and are looking forward to a successful fall and holiday with an elevated, fashion-forward assortment,” he wrote.

The Reel 360 team can’t wait to see if the new attempt takes off or not.

Source: Wall Street Journal