Calvin Klein Beiber Campaign Retraction

January 2015

Even the Calvin Klein Justin Beiber campaign is not immune from fashion law drama.

Barely legal, Justin Bieber, posed in his undies for Calvin Klein and he is happy for you to call it magic. But if you refer to it as photoshop magic, you may get sued.

Two days after Justin Bieber’s Spring/Summer 2015 Calvin Klein ads were released, BreatheHeavy.com claimed they acquired the undoctored images from Bieber’s Calvin Klein photo shoot.

Justin Beiber Calvin Klein Ad and Breatheheavy.com's Alleged Original

Beiber Calvin Klein Ad with the  Allegedly Unretouched Image

The pop music website alleged that Calvin Klein’s campaign images were photo-shopped to give Bieber a more muscular and enhanced physique.

Now, we all know that most—if not all—advertising images are retouched. Most of the ones on our phones are as well, especially since Apple was kind enough to add its one click fix and the ability to strengthen colors right from your cell phone’s photo album.

Anyway, according to TMZ, Bieber’s legal team sent the website a cease and desist letter, that requested the website remove the images, apologize, and print a retraction. Team Beiber also threatened a defamation lawsuit against the site for good measure.

Do you think that claims of Bieber’s Calvin Klein images being retouched hurt his brand?

In a society where photoshopping is so ubiquotous and absurd that full limbs and rib cages sometimes get blurred off, I do not think the photoshop claims against Bieber could actually hurt him. We know he has a great physique and do people really care if his abs were shadowed and package enlarged?

Did he sue the people who suggested he and Miley Cyrus are actually one person. Hmm, although in that case, it is true that I have not personally seen both of them in one room at the same time. 😀

Of course, the website subsequently removed the images from its website and Instagram and apologized. The retraction statement reads:

Team Bieber sent BreatheHeavy a cease and desist letter because of the alleged un-retouched Calvin Klein photo we posted, asking we remove the picture in question as well as provide a retraction. Because BreatheHeavy is not about making anyone feel bad or intentionally stirring the pot (and are definitely not here for lawsuits), we shall retract the story per request. Bieber denies the photo is real, and I respect that and will believe him. We sincerely apologize to Bieber for the hit to his ego and to the millions of tweens on social media we upset: Swag swag swag, on you. Chillin’ by the fire while we eatin’ fondue.

Calvin Klein’s Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Goldie commented to US Weekly Magazine about the overall photo shoot:

We are incredibly proud of the final images and how they portray Justin…This campaign will definitely make history.

I imagine that Bieber’s underwear campaign was as epic as Mark Wahlberg’s.
Nick Jonas definitely tried emulating Wahlberg’s poses, but aside from having done his shots for a magazine, Nick Jonas lacks a certain je ne sais quoi that Justin Bieber has.

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