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Honey Birdette Founder Says Anger Over Mardi Gras Ads ‘Ridiculous’

Lingerie brand Honey Birdette’s latest advertising campaign has been likened to ‘lesbian porn’, but the brand’s founder says the ad doesn’t go far enough.

The founder of Honey Birdette, Eloise Monaghan appears in the ad with her wife Natalie. The campaign was released to coincide with Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

In the ad dubbed 'Fluid', the couple and a number of other models bare all apart from paint that is symbolic of LGBTIQ pride colours.

The campaign, which was restricted from showing female breasts in its advertising in Australian stores, shows both women and men kissing.

 

Honey Birdette was forced to censor the ad to meet Australian standards. Image: supplied

The ad has drawn criticism from campaign group Collective Shout.

"Many of the women included are headless, but their naked breasts made it into the frame," CS Campaigns Manager Caitlin Roper wrote in an editorial on Thursday.

The campaign movement, that objects to sexualisation of women, said it had received complaints and concerns from Australian lesbians.

"The company’s long history of porn-inspired depictions of lesbian sexuality further entrenches sexist and harmful stereotypes of lesbians as male entertainment," Roper claimed.

Some comments on Honey Birdette's Instagram page were critical of the ad -- both of LGBTQI representation but also for being too racy.

“Calling the campaign ‘Fluid’ combined with the presentation of objectified, sexually available lesbians clearly communicates to the men watching that lesbian sexuality is fluid enough for lesbians to be sexually available to them," Liz Waterhouse from Listening2Lesbians claimed.

But Eloise Monaghan fired back at the claim calling it "ridiculous", and suggested the critics "grow up".

"I’m a lesbian ... my wife and I don’t exist for the entertainment of men, so why would our advertising?" she told 10 daily.

This week, Monaghan questioned the different way male and female nipples are regulated in advertising and took issue with Aussie advertisers being forced censor women's breasts.

The same Honey Birdette campaign was launched in the US and UK with no censoring.

Managing director of Eloise Monaghan (right) with wife Natalie. Image: Supplied

"I am entirely unapologetic for the confidence and empowerment that this campaign portrays. Honey Birdette is passionate about equal rights for women in advertising," she said.

It's not the first time the Collective Shout has taken aim at the retailer. It's the latest in an ongoing campaign challenging the representation of women in the company's advertisements.

National

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Honey Birdette Boss Rubbishes Claims 'Sexy' Breast Cancer Ad Is 'Soft Porn'

The boss of risqué lingerie brand Honey Birdette says claims the business tried to sexualise breast cancer are ‘ridiculous’ and ‘offensive’.

Last year, the organisation took issue with Honey Birdette's breast cancer campaign -- suggesting that the ad was 'soft porn'.

But the retailer raised $30,000 in five days, partnering breast cancer charity the McGrath Foundation and donating the entire sale of its 'Whitney' branded pink stockings to the charity.

In 2018, Collective Shout endorsed a petition, demanding Westfield step in and prevent the company from using 'porn-style advertising' in 'family-friendly' shopping centres.

Contact the author alattouf@networkten.com.au