These risqué images in Victoria's Secret stores are infuriating mums of teenagers -- and it's threatening the best part of the business

Business Insider/Mary HanburyRacy ads behind the cash register in a Victoria’s Secret Manhattan store.
  • Mothers of teenage shoppers are furious about the risqué photos in Victoria’s Secret stores and say they are inappropriate for young girls shopping the company’s PINK line.
  • A customer shared photos of a Victoria’s Secret store in the Columbiana Centre Mall in South Carolina.
  • Oversexualized ads like those in the photos could threaten Victoria’s Secret’s teen apparel business, which has been a bright spot for the retailer.

Victoria’s Secret is ostracizing some customers with its risqué ads.

“It’s basically pornography,” shopper Jessie Shealy wrote on Victoria’s Secret’s Facebook page, referring to the ads on display in her local store in South Carolina. Shealy has teenage daughters who shop from Victoria’s Secret’s PINK apparel brand, which is targeted toward younger consumers. She told Business Insider she has called and emailed Victoria’s Secret and her local mall, Columbiana Centre, to complain about the images she’s seen in the store.

Shealy’s biggest complaint is that her store doesn’t have a divide between PINK and Victoria’s Secret’s racy lingerie collection. This means that younger PINK shoppers are subjected to some of the more risqué imagery while they’re shopping.

“I’ve not been happy with the displays for a while but when the models are spread leg, pulling down panties and even bare bottom women on the walls … it is VERY embarrassing for a family,” she wrote on Facebook.

These displays don’t seem to be consistent in all of Victoria’s Secret’s stores. We visited a store in Manhattan and found that it did have two distinct sections for each brand, with separate checkout areas.

Victoria’s Secret did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

The ads are in danger of damaging PINK by putting off its shoppers. This is especially concerning as PINK has become one of the most successful parts of the company, reporting stronger sales than the other parts of the store in recent years. During the third quarter of 2017, total sales at PINK increased in the mid-single-digit range while sales in its beauty and lingerie sections were down, the company said in its earnings call.

Shealy shared photos from her local Victoria’s Secret store with Business Insider.

Editor’s Note: Some of these photos might not be considered safe for work.


This image hangs directly behind the checkout area at the store. Shealy described the images as “obscene.”

Jessie Shealy

Shealy has reached out to the company to request separate checkout areas for PINK and Victoria’s Secret shoppers.

Jessie Shealy

Victoria’s Secret has been called out for its oversexualized ads in the past. Another shopper wrote on Facebook: “The sexualization of girls has gotten worse and worse over the years.”

Jessie Shealy

In the store we visited in Manhattan, there was a separate checkout for Victoria’s Secret and PINK.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

And, there were separate fitting rooms.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

This entire space was devoted to PINK apparel.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

However, just a few steps away, you’ll find the risqué lingerie.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

These ads could be considered inappropriate for the younger PINK customer shopping in the store.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

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