Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, which aired yesterday, had its lowest ratings ever. It was seen by 3.3 million viewers, down from 5 million last year.
This may come as a surprise to Ed Razek, the CMO of Victoria’s Secret's parent company. In an interview last month, Razak talked proudly about the show.
For years, Victoria's Secret has faced criticism about its overly sexualized branding, but Razek kept making the case that the brand still had its finger on the pulse of culture.
Razek said: “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. It is the only one of its kind in the world. We're nobody's third love. We're their first love. And Victoria's Secret has been women's first love from the beginning.”
From comments like this, it does not seem like Victoria's Secret has fully come to terms with how young people feel about the brand.
In addition to the show's low ratings, women are not buying the brand's products. Sales are down and it is losing market share to startups like ThirdLove, Knix, and Lively, which are targeting millennial women with brands that are much more focused on comfort, inclusivity
, and female empowerment.
To make matters worse, the singer Halsey criticized the event and said she was offended by Razek's comments above, about trans models. “As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have no tolerance for a lack of inclusivity,” she wrote.