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The New York Post
October 29, 2013 Tuesday
All Editions; Pg. 12
320 words
Equinox ditches sexual ads
Emily Smith

TERRY Richardson's controversial flesh-baring, sexually charged ad campaign for high-end gym chain Equinox is being scrapped in favor of a sportier new look.

Page Six has exclusively learned Equinox hired world renowned ad agencies Wieden+Kennedy New York and R/GA to devise an energized new luxury fitness-focused campaign, which sources tell us includes an estimated $8 million contract with R/GA to overhaul Equinox's digital platform and its blog, Q.

Equinox creative director Liz Nolan confirmed to us in a statement: "We worked with Terry Richardson for three extremely successful campaigns. The natural point has now come to explore a fresh direction, and we're really excited to launch a provocative new brand campaign in January 2014."

Equinox has become known for its edgy marketing in years past with fashion photographers Steven Klein, Gilles Bensimon and Ellen von Unwerth shooting campaign images.

Famed lensman Richardson shot the campaign for the past three years, and drew criticism for depicting uber-skinny female models in body-baring clothing with male models in suggestive positions. Women have also been shown draped between the legs of male models - but never photographed doing any real athletic activity.

In July, one image of a model wearing a skin-tight Herve Leger-type dress while on all fours on a pool table was called "sexist" by a group called Sexism Matters, which started a campaign to have the billboard removed from outside of its Bethesda, Md., location.

"Our daughters and sons walk by the billboard outside Equinox Gym every day," the petition read. "They see a woman in a degrading sexual position . . . This is somehow meant to advertise for a fitness facility." The billboard was eventually removed.

Richardson has since moved on to shooting other models, including Miley Cyrus, whom he directed in her controversial "Wrecking Ball" music video.

October 29, 2013

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