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TheEveningStar
11-04-04, 18:50
By MARK WILLIAMS, AP Business Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Victoria's Secret is dropping its nationally televised fashion show this year, at least partly because of criticism following Janet Jackson's breast-baring faux pas at the Super Bowl.

Ed Razek, chief creative officer for the Columbus-based lingerie chain, said Saturday the main reason for the decision was so the company can look at new ways to promote the brand. Still, he said, "We had to make the decision probably six to eight weeks ago when the heat was on the television networks."

The announcement came less than three months after the Jackson uproar and a week after federal regulators proposed $495,000 in fines against Clear Channel Communications for sexual material on the Howard Stern show.

The televised fashion show has generated criticism in the past from groups complaining about supermodels strutting down the runway in skimpy underwear.

A message left Saturday at the New York office of CBS, which has televised the show the past two years, was not immediately returned.

Olga Vives, vice president of the National Organization for Women, praised the cancelation, saying the show only objectifies women.

"We're concerned young women think they have to look this way," Vives said, adding she hoped the cancelation is permanent.

"There are many other ways to promote their product."

The fashion show, which aired in November the last two years, was televised on ABC in 2001. The first show was broadcast online in 1999; 1.5 million visitors tried to log on at once, bringing the site down within 20 minutes.

Victoria's Secret has $4 billion in annual sales. Yahoo.com