A picture may well be worth a thousand words, but for clothing retailer Urban Outfitters, a recent picture is proving to be worth a whole lot more than that.
That is because 16-year-old model Hailey Clauson is suing the company and photographer Jason Lee Parry, who took a picture of Clauson that was subsequently featured on T-shirts produced and sold by the retailer,for $28 million. The lawsuit claims that the image of Clauson was “salacious,” according to a report on The Daily Caller.
"She is posed in a blatantly salacious manner with her legs spread, without a bra, revealing portions of her breasts," the lawsuit states. The lawsuit also claims that Clauson is in "a spread eagle position, making her crotch area the focal point of the image."
This, however, is not the first time that Urban Outfitters has been in trouble with racy images or potentially inappropriate sayings, and the question now shifts to whether or not this controversy and all the publicity they have received as a result is a calculated risk.
"I have to say I think the way that this played out is such that it does not smell of a [publicity] stunt," said Ben Grossman, communication strategist at Oxford Communication. "They have exposed themselves to some major risk and any well-designed [publicity] stunt is not going to risk alienating their customers."
According to Grossman, there is a simple fix to this situation.
"The most important thing is to be humble in a case where your base is rising up against you," Grossman told BusinessNewsDaily. "Urban Outfitters' major mistake is that they haven't been humble enough to accept that they may have done wrong."
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