Lingerie brand Harper Wilde apologises for ‘creepy’ Ryan Reynolds ad

Lingerie brand Harper Wilde posted an advertisement on social media comparing their bra sizes to Ryan Reynolds. Now, the company has issued an apology for the “creepy” ad after internet users share their confused reactions to the marketing technique.

It all began on 27 January when the lingerie brand shared the promoted post to Instagram, which likened wearing one of their bras to being fondled by Ryan Reynolds. In white, squiggly font over an aesthetically pleasing pink background, the ad read: “This bra is like if Ryan Reynolds was gently holding up your breasts and whispering in your ear that you are doing a good job…honestly.”

After circulating on Instagram, a screenshot of the sponsored post was shared to Twitter by writer Brandy Jensen, where it received a number of mixed reactions from social media users.

“Just say it’s a good bra,” replied one person, while another asked: “Who is the target audience for this? Because this is frightening.”

“Really happy to see we’re making bras about men validating us again,” one user said.

Others claimed the brand’s marketing tool only represented the interests of their straight female customers, as one person joked: “Straight people are not okay.”

“Only straight men think Ryan Reynolds is hot, like we’ve been through this,” said someone else. “We want Pedro Pascal and Oscar Isaac!”

Three days later, Harper Wilde finally responded to a Reddit thread about the post, in which they addressed some of the confusion surrounding the ad. The brand explained that the advertisement was actually taken from a customer review about the product.

“For context, this is actually a review by a real customer originally meant to run with a series of other reviews – we thought it was cheeky enough to run as an ad, but the attribution was cut off at the bottom by the ad interface (original ad series attached!),” they replied. “The core of our brand is ultimately about designing bras by boob-havers for boob-havers while divesting from the male gaze. While we clearly have customers who are straight women, this single review doesn’t represent our entire brand. Our small team is 99 per cent women and we absolutely do not condone creepy non-consensual boob-grabbing of any kind, even in a figurative hypothetical bra-review. We’re so sorry this creeped anyone out! Absolutely not our intention and we’ve pulled the ad from running.”

Harper Wilde’s Reddit post was also accompanied by images of other customer reviews from the sponsored post, one of which claimed their bras were like if “butter and a cloud made a baby”.

Despite apologising for the “creepy” ad, Harper Wilde has maintained that they are a female-led company dedicated to “empowering women”.

In other advertising news, Kim Kardashian was recently praised as a “marketing genius” for recruiting The White Lotus actors Simona Tabasco and Beatrice Grannò to star in a Valentine’s Day campaign for her shapewear brand, Skims.

“I watched The White Lotus and had to have my girls!” Kardashian captioned a set of photos and videos of the Italian actresses posing in limited-edition pink and black Skims outfits. “Launching 26 January. The Skims Valentine’s Day shop. “It’s back and sexier than ever, starring breakout stars and real-life best friends @simonatabasco and @beagranna together for Skims.”

Many fans described the Skims campaign as “iconic and groundbreaking,” while others said they were “obsessed” with Kardashian’s decision to feature the actresses in her new campaign.

“I absolutely love the fact that Kim K recruited the girls from White Lotus season two to model for Skims,” one person tweeted.

“The collab we didn’t know we needed just dropped,” another person said.

The Independent has contacted Harper Wilde for comment.