La Redoute’s Questionable, Yet Very Naked, Mistake

When creating good advertising, we are taught that it is of the upmost importance to consider our target audience’s feelings, and what their reaction may be to what we put out there. So, when French powerhouse fashion retail company La Redoute published a photo of four children in La Redoute swimwear on a beach with a completely naked man in the background, its no surprise the “mistake” caused quite a stir.

The first question that comes to mind is, of course, how could this possibly have gone unnoticed by the company? How many people did it take to look at that image – the photographer (while on the scene AND reviewing the images), designer enhancing the image, art director and/or creative director who approved the image, web developer putting the site together – to completely miss the man having a grand old time in his birthday suit on the same beach as the photo shoot?

What’s worse is that though the company has removed it from the site, its already begun to be printed in the company’s catalogue issue. Looks like the man’s private parts will not remain private for quite some time.

The second question that follows is, in my mind anyway, was this intentional? La Redoute claims to be very embarassed and apologized for the mishap, promising to be more careful in the future. But I can’t help but wonder whether or not this was an attempt at a publicity stunt. It certainly may persuade consumers to check out the catalog just to see this ridiculous mistake. What do you think?

And finally… who really walks around a beach naked? Only in France, I suppose.     -KO


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