A Netherlands-based men's suit company is facing a social media backlash in response to an advertising campaign featuring men embracing. Suitsupply, an international men's tailoring brand just unveiled their new spring/summer 2018 campaign online.
The videos and photographs showed men holding or touching each other, as well as two men kissing. The adverts have gone on display in Suitsupply's 91 stores across 22 countries, as well as the company's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Many people commended the company's decision to put the spotlight on male couples while others found it offensive. The company has received several critical responses on social media for putting homosexual imagery in its adverts.
On Wednesday, NRC Handelsblad, a Dutch newspaper reported that the company has lost more than 10,000 followers on its Instagram profile after the publication of the adverts. Before launching the campaign, Fokke de Jong, the founder and chief executive of the brand, said, “The attraction between people is an important part of fashion advertising. “A campaign featuring the attraction between men was long overdue and particularly relevant for our brand.” De Jong admitted that the company might get criticism. “We do believe there is potential for negative impact, especially in countries where we have a significant presence, that are known for contrasting viewpoints.”
This is not the first time Suitsupply has made headlines with their adverts. In 2016 the company was criticized for “sexist” adverts of men playing around on giant, half-dressed women. Last year, Suitsupply's sister company Suistudio launched an advertising campaign showing powerful women using faceless naked men as props. In April 2010, it was told to remove their “erotic” posters from their display windows in a west London shopping centre.