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Miss Universe Australia in row over 'peepshow' underwear ads

Melbourne, Sun, 26 Feb 2012 ANI

Melbourne, Feb 26 (ANI): Miss Universe Australia has been embroiled in controversy over a new advertising campaign accused of glorifying peeping Toms.


Scherri-Lee Biggs fronted an advertising campaign for clothing brand Mossimo that asks people to submit candid peepshow-style photos to win prizes, judged by her.


The Advertising Standards Bureau has received several complaints and is investigating after users hijacked the site last week to air their views.


One user dubbed "Naughty Nicole" uploaded a picture of herself holding a sign that read: "mossimo peepshow = sexist rubbish".


The post and a similar one attracted far more votes online than any of the legitimate entries - images of entrants doctored to look as if they have been taken through a peep hole.


Anti-sexploitation campaigner Melinda Tankard Reist said that the campaign, which promoted Mossimo's new underwear line, made a joke out of people who leered at women without their knowledge.


"It normalises and mainstreams the idea of peeping," the Courier Mail quote Reist as saying.


"Peeping isn't funny for women, it isn't amusing. We have a whole phenomenon of upskirting, which is a form of peeping as well," she said.


The scandal comes at a bad time for Biggs, who last week signed a lucrative deal with New York modelling agency Women Management.


She is seeking to firm up her modelling career following the end of her year-long tenure as Miss Universe Australia in June.


However, Mossimo marketing manager Leanne Wall rejected the accusations, saying the campaign was "just fun and light-hearted' and not designed to reference unlawful peeping or the sex industry.


"I think that's an interpretation," Leanne said.


"The phrase peep show doesn't necessarily always mean it's from the sex industry," she said.


Leanne accused Tankard Reist's group, Collective Shout, of whipping up undue controversy about the campaign.


She said the winning photo would be the "most unique", not the most sexy, and that the in-store advertising had been received positively.


"We've had some great feedback from the windows - it's actually caused people to stop and have a look because Miss Universe looks like she's having so much fun in the window," Leanne added. (ANI)



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