Are butts the new billboards?

New York Times fashion scribe says product placement is taking a back seat.

Published January 5, 2006 3:51PM (EST)

In today's Thursday Styles section, New York Times fashion reporter Eric Wilson asks this pressing question: Do "people realize they are voluntarily handing over their derrieres to the marketers of designer jeans on a daily basis?" Wilson goes on to list several recent pop cultural examples of this trend, including a closeup of Scarlett Johansson's shapely behind bearing the "telltale zigzag stitch" of the 7 for All Mankind label in her new movie, "Match Point," and a camera that "lingers suspiciously" on the back pockets of Tom Cruise's Paper Denim & Cloth jeans in "War of the Worlds."

But the ultimate ass-ertisement, it seems, is for Nelly's Apple Bottoms jeans, a brand "designed for women with curves and identifiable by large Apple-shaped embroidery." In a stroke of marketing brilliance, the company has held 40 nationwide casting calls to find a new butt model. Broadsheet is devastated that we missed the Tuesday night tryout in New York, where "about 150 women auditioned for the part, practically a walking orchard," according to Wilson.

Talk about a booty call.

By Lori Leibovich

Lori Leibovich is a contributing editor at Salon and the former editor of the Life section.

MORE FROM Lori Leibovich

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