Despite criticism from members as well as yours truly for its provocative advertising campaign that doesn't appear to have anything to do with fitness clubs, Equinox is going to keep doing what it wants to do.
For the third year in a row, the New York-based club chain called on fashion photographer Terry Richardson to shoot its ad campaign. According to an Equinox press release, the "By Equinox" campaign shot at the Stahl house in the Hollywood Hills "gives viewers an intimate peek into the lives of the other half—where provocative and playful meet at their luxurious weekend escape. Each image, dripping in luxury, voyeuristically captures a moment made possible by the Equinox-powered body."
One of those bodies in the ad campaign is that of a nude man with a woman in her underwear on top of him. (Relax, folks. I checked out the exclusive behind-the-scenes video of the shoot, and the guy was wearing undies that apparently were airbrushed out.)
News of Terry Richardson's latest campaign came courtesy of former Equinox Executive Creative Director Bianca Kosoy, who has become my meal ticket for increased traffic on this blog. The influence of Kosoy, who left Equinox not long after she uttered the phrase "fitness is a fraud," survives through Richardson's lens.
"Terry is able to capture the power of a private moment," Equinox said in the press release. "His signature style blends fashion, fitness and performance. Like Equinox, Terry defines the category, so there was no other photographer that could bring the By Equinox creative to life."
To its credit, Equinox quickly responded to my tweet last week suggesting the company hadn't learned its lesson after it received backlash from members and critics about its campaign. "We hear and appreciate your feedback and will keep this in consideration," Equinox tweeted me.
A few days later, not long after I received the press release about this year's campaign, I asked an Equinox spokesperson if the company had a response to those who think these images are inappropriate in a fitness club setting and are not a true reflection of its members. The spokesperson replied, "No comment."