1987 – Live models were used for the first time in Playtex bra ads


APRIL 21, 1987 12 AM PT


Brassieres, which haven’t made much news since some were symbolically burned two decades ago, are historical footnotes again. Television advertisements for some bras will soon use models instead of manikins.

On May 4, NBC is scheduled to air an ad for the Playtex-made Cross Your Heart bra, which shows a woman wearing the product. This brings to an end the decades-old ban by the networks on commercials that show models in their underwear.

“I don’t see why it should be taboo to show a woman in a bra,” said Hercules P. Sotos, vice-chairman of International Playtex, the Stamford, Conn.-based manufacturer. “It’s much more effective in showing the product’s attributes than a manikin.”

Playtex is not alone. In a soon-to-be-aired television ad campaign for men’s underwear, Fruit of the Loom has hired a male model to wear briefs. Both the $4-million Playtex campaign and the Fruit of the Loom campaign were devised by Grey Advertising.