Calvin Klein has produced an ad campaign featuring a sultry actress flashing a nipple. That ad has now been banned from TV in America, resulting in a heap of free press for CK and its new fragrance. Could this standard-issue fashion PR masterstroke have been purposeful? A CK exec says it's "not entirely" a surprise that the ad showing Hitch starlet Eva Mendes writhing around naked on a bed (covered only by a strategically rumpled sheet) has been rejected by US networks. (It shows her nipple, duh!) The creative director behind it is maintaining a sense of righteous outrage, but this is clearly a well-executed textbook case of manufacturing controversy for publicity. Yes, we have the ad after the jump.

Creative director Fabien Baron was flabbergasted that Mendes' nipple flash was deemed unacceptable for Middle American sensibilities:

"You must be kidding me. This country really needs a new president - this country is so messed up," said Baron. "It's such a joke and it's quite upsetting, frankly, how hypocritical this country has become. It's OK for children to see people killed by guns? Spreading a little love right now would be a good idea.

"She is being a little sexy, but they are not provocative," added Baron. "They are really well done. The spot is really beautiful - I really can't believe this is happening.…I don't know what else to say."

So the company will run an edited version, the racier cut will be an online smash, the new perfume gets a ton of free media, and Eva Mendes can raise her asking price for her next film ever so slightly. It's all quite repetitive, isn't it? That won't stop anyone from watching this ad though: