Calvin Klein Spring Ad Disaster

Calvin Klein tweeted their new Instagram Spring AD on May 9th, not an unusual act for a company with so much advertising experience under their belt. But even with Calvin’s Klein’s previous unique and notorious advertising campaigns, the bad press received from outraged people all over the internet may not have been the publicity the company were hoping for.

The Tweet reads: Take a Peek at Klara Kristin through Harley Weir’s Lens #mycalvins

Calvin Klein Klara Kristin
Printscreen of tweet by Calvin Klein about their new ad campaign,

The new Spring ad campaign has garnered a lot of attention from people online, with members of the public likening the ‘up-skirt’ photo to porn, as well as saying that the image plays into the hands of paedophile’s because the model Klara Kristin looks so young for her years. Many people have used the words ‘creepy’ on social media to respond to the image as some are even going as far as to say it is misogynistic and encourages the sexualisation of young girls.
Despite people’s reservations about the image, it has to be said that the model was under contract, and at 23 years old Kara is perfectly capable of telling Harley Weir or the brand that she was uncomfortable with the image.

calvin klein
Calvin Klein has never shied away from sexual connotations within their advertising campaigns, but has this one gone too far?

People have become very divided by the ad campaign that went live on Instagram and Twitter on May 9th 2016. Despite people’s indignation at the image, on the other hand there are those that are defending it. Some people are showing support to Calvin Klein, Klara Kristin and photographer Harley Weir by stating the ages of the people involved, with some even going as far as to take their own up-skirt #mycalvins images.
Whether you agree or disagree with the creative advertising choices made by Calvin Klein for this particular season’s underwear, you have to admit that even a reaction like this has garnered a lot of publicity. All of the newspapers and magazines, and bloggers have been mentioning it since it sparked outrage online mere days ago. And one of the biggest motto’s in the advertising industry from theatre, to clothing and fashion design is:
There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Calvin Klein at the Tribeca Film Festival Vanity Fair After Party. By David Shankbone – Own work, CC BY 3.0,


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation began a petition on Thursday 12th May to get the controversial up-skirt shot removed from the advertising campaign. They believe that the sexual content of the advertising campaign is demeaning sufferer’s of sexual abuse and exploitation, and feel that Calvin Klein should issue a formal apology to those effected by this. Their petition gathered hundred’s of signatures within 24 hours.
*Calvin Klein was contacted but gave no comment on the image, or the petition*

This is not the first time that Calvin Klein has come under fire for super sexualised advertising campaigns, with one of their most controversial ads of the 90’s being nicknamed the “Kiddy Porn” campaign. Calvin Klein has used sex as a way to sell since the beginning of the brand, and people seem to be forgetting that this is something we’ve always seen from the fashion titan. But the question people are asking about this newest ad campaign, is it all too much?

The “Kiddy Porn” campaign was brought into the limelight further, after ex model James Brandon Ralph was found guilty of first degree sexual assault on girls aged 12 and under. The infamous model affiliated with Klein died age 36 of unknown circumstances.


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