Clothing Brand Changes Name to Avoid Porn Connotations

NicolaHelgesenCreativeDirector650LONDON – A 12-year-old designer clothing brand has changed its name after discovering most internet search engine results for La Petite Salope linked to explicit pornography instead of couture.

In French, la petite salope means “little slut.” Creative Director Nicola Helgesen said the parent company, LPS Studio Ltd., adopted the French phrase as its brand name in order to convey both attitude and style: “sophistication with a healthy dose of sex appeal.” Lately, the naughty connotation has overwhelmed everything else, she told the UK’s Telegraph.

“We are aware that our name always had slight connotations, but 10 years ago we considered La Petite Salope to be lighthearted, friendly and open to interpretation,” Helgesen said.

Celebrities and other well-heeled women embrace the spirit of the brand, but Helgesen worries search-engine results that include explicit porn may harm the firm’s image and affect its reputation. At first, she tried to fight back by flooding Google with links to the brand’s website, hoping to push pornography links off the first page of search results. The effort didn’t work.

“Of course if you use SafeSearch this does eliminate the pornography, but it also removes our company, even though we clearly do not sell or publish anything other than luxury women’s clothes with absolutely no sexual reference whatsoever,” Helgeson told the Telegraph.

The situation left the company with one option, Helgesen said: removing the word “salope” from the brand name. Although the firm kept its trademark and international registration for the original name, the company rebranded its designer clothing line and East London retail shop La Petite S*****.

Helgesen admits the experience frustrated and saddened her. She said the “damage and heartbreak” she and the company experienced are best defined as a “moral issue as to why we have such highly offensive, degrading images available online.”

 

Image: Nicola Helgeson, creative director for La Petite S*****.

 

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