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Complaints about Victoria's Secret have spiked, say mall management

Victoria's Secret's undressed window dressings are doing more than turning heads at the Rogue Valley Mall ' they're also prompting complaints from some shoppers who'd like a little more left to the imagination.

My kids have been embarrassed, said Sarah Murphy, 36, of Central Point. For the mall's family atmosphere, she said, the provocative displays are immodest.

The window displays sport two larger-than-life photographs of scantily clad women in suggestive poses.

While some shoppers avert their eyes, others roll theirs over objections to the photos.

I think they're wonderful, said Lucinda Canon, 45, of Central Point. I mean, it's a lingerie store.

She said she didn't see the photographs as being overly explicit.

It would be different if they were porn, but they're done very tastefully, she said.

Victoria's Secret, an intimate apparel and beauty products retailer, opened in the Rogue Valley Mall in 1996.

Whether this year's displays cross the line of appropriateness is not for the mall to determine, said Jeff Barber, mall general manager. Mall management has received complaints from shoppers that the recent displays are too suggestive, he said.

It seems to have been in the last couple of months, more complaints, said Barber.

The mall's policy is to uphold city ordinances and does not address modesty or taste, he said.

But as far as the city ordinance is concerned, those models could be nude.

City Attorney Ron Doyle said the city code doesn't prohibit something because it is risqu?.

He said the Oregon Constitution protects freedom of expression and that the government cannot regulate or restrict expression.

Oregon law does prohibit certain activities, he said. If it has harmful secondary effects, such as with the making of a photograph of child pornography, then that can be prohibited, he said.

Beyond that, it's up to stores like Victoria's Secret to regulate their own window dressing standards.

The public relations spokesperson at the Victoria's Secret headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, did not return calls Monday.

A spokesperson did say that Victoria's Secret gets calls every day from people across the country complaining about store window displays.

Not all families find the pictures inappropriate.

Heather Allen, 26, of Medford, said even though she comes to the mall with two children, ages 10 and 4, this is the least of what kids are exposed to.

You see worse than that in commercials on TV, she said.

Besides, the suggestiveness of Victoria's Secret has an attraction.

That's the only way I can get my husband to come to the mall, she said.

Candy Miller, 58, of Medford walks regularly with a friend in the mall, and she said she didn't think the photos were appropriate for a mall.

There are so many kids that are in here, she said.

Plus, the strategic location of the store gets more people seated at tables right in front of the windows, she said.

It does catch your eye, that's for sure, said Miller.

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Victoria?s Secret?s eye-catching photo displays at the Rogue Valley Mall have prompted complaints from some shoppers that they are too suggestive. Other shoppers say the displays are appropriate for a lingerie store. Mail Tribune / Bob Pennell - Mail Tribune Bob Pennell