JCPenney 'Endorses' Teenage Sex (Not Really, As It Turns Out)


Come on. You know you can remember it. You were in high school and your boyfriend or girlfriend was on the way over to visit and the anticipation was killing you. Killing you! Your heart was pounding. Chills were running through your body from head to toe. You couldn't wait to see her/him when you opened the door. And when you did, a gush of warmth filled your body and you smiled a big smile. And couldn't wait to tell your mother you were "just going down to the basement to watch some TV" so you could....go down the basement, each tear your clothes off the other and embrace with an urgency words can never describe.

And you felt fully confident you'd be just fine if Mom decided to open the basement door, walk down the stairs and make sure you weren't doing anything you weren't supposed to be doing because...because you'd both practiced dressing and undressing in front of the mirror until you got your time down to 18 seconds, the time it would probably take for Mom to get off the couch, walk across the floor, open the basement door and begin to walk down the which time the two of you would be sitting on the couch fully dressed doing just what you said you'd be doing: watching TV. All thanks to JC Penny.

Because for J.C. Penney, Every Day Matters. And "Today's the day to get away with it."

A brand, with help from Saatchi & Saatchi New York, endorsing teenage sexual foolery? What, pray tell, will parents say to this?

Smart ones will shock the shit out of their kids by nonchalantly asking, without getting up off the couch, "Need a condom?"

UPDATE: Oh of course it turns out to be a fake. Damn. All the great ads are fakes! This ad is actually very good and follows closely the direction in which JCPenney has been recently heading; to become more relevant and to appeal to a younger audience. And the killer is it won a Bronze Lion. Cannes ain't gonna be happy about this. Here is the clarification from JCPenney Legal:

"JCPenney was deeply disappointed to learn that our name and logo were used in the creation and distribution of a commercial that was submitted to the 2008 International Advertising Festival at Cannes. No one at JCPenney was aware of the ad or participated in the creation of it in any way. The commercial was never broadcast, but rather was created by a former employee at JCPenney's advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, solely as an award submission without JCPenney's knowledge or prior approval.

JCPenney does not approve or condone its content, and we have asked Saatchi & Saatchi to remove the ad from online circulation and to apologize to our customers and our Associates for misrepresenting our Company in this manner."

And...Saatchi & Saatchi ads its own clarification:

"Saatchi & Saatchi has a long history of producing principled and respectful advertising for JCPenney and its entire client roster. The Speed Dressing TV commercial, which was submitted to the 2008 International Advertising Festival at Cannes, was created by a third party vendor without JCPenney's knowledge or consent. It was produced and released to the public without any knowledge or prior approval from JCPenney. Saatchi & Saatchi did not enter the spot and deeply regrets the message this ad presents. Saatchi & Saatchi apologizes to JCPenney, its associates and its customers. The commercial is being removed from public circulation."

Epoch? Care to add yours?

Ponder the damage this has done. Since the work, though quite good, was unauthorized and, apparently, never ran anywhere, it's not eligible to win an award. Cannes will now have to strip the Bronze from Saatchi/JCPenney/Epoch leaving other legitimate contenders in the category screaming, "Hey, we could have had that bronze!" Is this any way to behave in what is supposed to be a professional business? Oh way, this is advertising. Sorry for having such lofty expectations.

by Steve Hall    Jun-23-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Best, Brands, Commercials, Worst   

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Whoops! Typo!
Good thing they're not a client!

J. C. Penney!

Posted by: Brutus Maximus on June 23, 2008 1:12 PM

Damn 18 secs. I only got as fast as 25.

Posted by: DC Urban Dad on June 23, 2008 1:27 PM

"JcPenney -- not just for the sexless... anymore."

Posted by: tom reynolds on June 23, 2008 3:29 PM

This has happened countless times without them being caught. Several 'celebrated' creatives from there had been known to win for dozens of fake scam ads. Built careers on it. Even had a group dedicated to award ads only.

Everyone knows this. It's so known that they even said it at the One show this year when the announcer said the Saatchi work that won was 'proven' to have a local newspaper. How embarrassing!

Posted by: Jaycee on June 24, 2008 10:09 AM

J.C. Penney Co. officials are upset about a racy, fake advertisement on YouTube in which the retailer appears to be endorsing teen sex, and they are blaming the company's ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi.
. . .
In a statement late Monday, Saatchi said the ad was created by a third-party vendor "without J.C. Penney's knowledge or consent."
Posted by: aelfheld on June 24, 2008 3:59 PM

"It was produced and released to the public without any knowledge or prior approval from JCPenney."

Notice that Saatchi's statement doesn't say "without our knowledge or prior approval." It really makes me feel like they're throwing Epoch under a bus.

Posted by: Cameron on June 24, 2008 5:20 PM

This isn't the only JC Penney ad created by Epoch for Saatchi & Saatchi. Epoch still has another spot ( from director MIke Long ) posted on their website here:

It uses the fear of Terrorism in the name of JC Penney

Posted by: Henry on June 24, 2008 7:27 PM

yeah it was produced without permission, and sure it hints at teen sex, but its good...really good. It captures real teen life and emotion rather than some fake smiley made up image of abnormally ood looking kids enjoying their perfect life.

Posted by: Street Attck on June 25, 2008 10:59 AM

I guess that the people who submitted this work are common cheats is beside the point?

Posted by: stu sutcliffe on June 25, 2008 3:10 PM

From your turgid "Comments Terms of Use" page:

"Do not post abusive, obscene, threatening, harassing, defamatory, libelous, offensive or pornographic material."

Yet you think an ad PROMOTING teenage fucking under the nose of a Prozac-addled mom is humorous? . . . BULLSHIT.

Posted by: Melvin Toast on June 26, 2008 1:21 PM

Last I checked, there's nothing "abusive, obscene, threatening, harassing, defamatory, libelous, offensive or pornographic" about teenage sex. The spot is not promoting sex. It's simply reflecting the natural behavior of teenagers.

Posted by: Steve Hall on June 26, 2008 1:44 PM

Let me see if I understand this, Steve. The "natural behavior of teenagers" is to fuck in front of their parents, correct? I don't agree. But I will assume, judging from your tone, that you do agree and that if you had teenagers--boys or girls--you would allow them to close themselves off and happily fuck in private, in your own home, perhaps helpfully offering condoms and refreshing beverages as well. If so, you and others like you are raising hedonistic monsters who will never know boundaries and who will never accept discipline. These teenagers who fuck, literally, in your face, are the same ones who show up by the busload at advertising agencies, thinking they'll be the ECD in the corner office in only a matter of months because, after all, no one has EVER told these depraved gadgets NO.

Posted by: Melvin Toast on June 26, 2008 2:22 PM

Good lord, Melvin. Were you never young and in love? Your unhealthy obsession with fucking teens aside, I can't help but resent your assertion that I'm a hedonistic monster raising more of the same.

When we were in our last year of high school, footage of my girlfriend and I kissing in public turned up on the local news, complete with the voice of doom asking "Are teenagers too promiscuous? Tune in tonight!"

I wish we'd taped it, 'cause it would have been fun to watch at our 10th wedding anniversary last year.

Our daughters are still in preschool now, but when they're older and sexually active, I hope they'll feel comfortable enough to do it in at home instead of losing their virginity on grungy sheets in a cheap motel room.

Posted by: Graham on June 26, 2008 4:14 PM

P.S. Where do you work that you have busloads of horny teens delivered to your agency? All we get are bagels.

Posted by: Graham on June 26, 2008 4:54 PM

Hmm, Saatchi should know that Crispin does such viral ads for real and which is paid for by the client.

This ad does not work with the sign-off. It seems to be creative for the sake of being creative for award submission…

An ad should do more than just attract people to see it and leave it as that.

After all, when you ask them to see it, the next question is what do you want me to do after seeing it?

Poorly thought out. Draggy storyline. Such badly thoughout scam work should not be encouraged.

Posted by: Roger Makak on June 26, 2008 10:57 PM

Dear Graham,

Yes, I was in love. More than once. And no, I never went in for those tawdry, self-obsessed displays of public affection that you seem to find so endearing. But I absolutely LOVED those cheap motels! The round, vibrating beds. The ceiling mirror. Red brocade draperies. Twenty-four hour porn. The trouble with you, Graham, is that you have no imagination. Even less self-control. And there will obviously be no constraints on your daughter's sexual activity either as she plays you--and your sizeable wallet--like a cheap fiddle right through her college years. Children crave--and deserve--discipline and boundaries. Parents who hand condoms to their children are not parents, they are predators. We fuck in private. We chat, and have dinner, in public. And children should never be given the imprimatur to fuck in their parents' home. Allowing your children to turn your upscale, suburban home into a teen-aged brothel will turn them into selfish monsters with no passion for life, having forsaken the moral high road for a few moments of shabby physical pleasure on dad's pool table. (With dad, no doubt, chalking his cue in the closet.) And they will not have the mindset nor the patience for the hard work ahead in this country, to preserve jobs that are headed to nations where fucking in dad's house is not only forbidden, it is likely punishable by death.

I remain, cordially and otherwise,

Your correspondent,

Melvin Toast

PS: Perhaps I should have said "teenagers who grow up and then show up at advertising agencies." Thank you for the correction. For the record, we longer receive even complimentary bagels. And hey, who said anything about horny, Graham? Are you looking for a little "Suzie" cream cheese with your bagel?

Posted by: Melvin Toast on June 27, 2008 11:14 AM


Posted by: LOng on June 28, 2008 10:01 AM

(Graham avoids eye contact with the ranting street preacher and waits for the light to change.)

Posted by: Graham on June 28, 2008 12:09 PM

Come back here, sonny! Look me in the eye! My good eye! Thats right. You may not like the mange on my face nor the piss on my pants but you will listen, and listen good. Now, where was I . . .

Posted by: Melvin Toast on July 1, 2008 12:17 AM