Victoria’s Secret ‘rethinking’ annual fashion show, leaving network TV

Victoria’s Secret is shaking up its famous fashion show.

According to a memo sent to employees by L Brands CEO Les Wexner on Friday, obtained by CNBC, the company is “rethinking” whether television is still the “right fit” for the lingerie empire’s annual runway extravaganza, which has been broadcast on ABC and CBS for almost 20 years.

“For the past few months, we’ve said that we are taking a fresh look at every aspect of our business — from merchandising, marketing and brand positioning, to our real estate portfolio, digital business and cost structure,” Wexner wrote in the memo. “Fashion is a business of change. We must evolve and change to grow. With that in mind, we have decided to rethink the traditional Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Going forward we don’t believe network television is the right fit.”

He added that, “In 2019 and beyond, we’re focusing on developing exciting and dynamic content and a new kind of event — delivered to our customers on platforms that she’s glued to … and in ways that will push the boundaries of fashion in the global digital age.”

It’s been a tumultuous year for VS, with its runway show facing plummeting ratings and rampant criticism over a continued lack of racial and body diversity. The brand was also forced to navigate backlash after its former chief marketing officer Ed Razek made offensive statements about trans and plus-size models during a viral Vogue interview.

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