Racy underwear ads draw protests in New York

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — A provocative ad by the Swedish retailer H&ampM showing supermodel Claudia Schiffer in a bra and panties has drawn protests in upstate New York, where the ads are running on buses and in newspapers.

"They’re not selling the bra," said Donna Giordano of Newburgh. "They’re selling something else."

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings says he’ll ask transportation officials to take the ad off city buses.

"I can’t and won’t advocate for censorship," Jennings said. "But I can be an advocate for good taste, which is what this is all about."

A Capital District Transportation Authority spokesman, Carm Basile, said he’s gotten eight calls about the ads, which are on 100 buses throughout the city. He said no decision had been made to pull the ads.

Newspapers including the Times Union of Albany, the Times Herald-Record of Middletown and the Journal of Poughkeepsie have also gotten complaints that the ad is too racy and objectifies women.

H&ampM, www.hm.comc, has been running the ads for years and has included such models as Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Anna Nicole Smith. It has eight stores in upstate New York.

A spokesman said the ad was not intended to titillate.

"This is not sex," said Par Darj, H&ampM’s country manager. "We sell underwear."

Record Publisher Jim Moss said the ads were not placed without discussion.

"We did not run it lightly," Moss said. "We certainly talked about it."

Citing similar ads from Sears, Kmart and other retailers that often run in the paper, Moss said he was not certain what made this ad more offensive than other lingerie advertising.

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