J.C. Penney is learning the hard way that once something is released on the Web, it’s nearly impossible to get it back.

A fake ad features two teenagers (a boy and a girl) timing themselves on how quickly they can get dressed. The subtle message is they are preparing themselves to do “the nasty” in the basement of the girl’s house while her mother reads upstairs.

J.C. Penney is a PR lather because the ad is based on its tag line “Every Day Matters”. As a result, it wants its ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, to “remove it from the Web”.


Given how quickly content can be distributed, reformatted, etc., getting a video pulled from the Web is like trying to put the genie back in the bottle.

You can understand why J.C. Penney wants to avoid a PR nightmare but the more it screams and shouts at Saatchi to eliminate all signs of the ad, the more attention the ad will get, which is what J.C. Penney is trying to apparently avoid.

Gawker is suggesting J.C. Penney might launched a lawsuit against the ad’s creators, which would likely generate even more PR.

For those of you who want to see the ad:

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