LOS ANGELES – Piercing studios didn't pay for advertising during the Super Bowl (search), but they still got plenty of exposure.
Shops and distributors around the country are reporting a surge of interest in nipple piercing and adornments since Janet Jackson's (search) breast-revealing performance at the game's halftime show.
Nipple shields like the silver sunburst revealed when Justin Timberlake (search) tore off a piece of Jackson's costume have been hot sellers at $30 to $100, said Bianca Bubenik, who owns two tattoo and piercing studios in New York called Andromeda and Cassioppia.
"I've been selling them like crazy for the last couple days," she said. The number of nipple piercings at her shops rose this past week from 10 to about 25, she said.
On Hollywood Boulevard (search), Jason Price of Tattoo Zone said more than 20 people — including parents — asked about the procedure this past week, twice as many as usual.
"It's definitely opened a market," he said Friday. "Like the Pamela Anderson barbed wire tattoos."
Business was brisk at the Florida-based online distributor TheChainGang.com, with owner Russ Johnson saying he had sold about 65 Jacksonesque shields since the Super Bowl and had more than 40 on back order. Until the Super Bowl, he sold only two or three in a typical week.
New Yorker Tommy Vega had his nipples pierced several years ago but had them redone Friday so he could wear shields like Jackson's.
"I hate to admit I was influenced by her, but I love her and it looked really cute," said Vega, 23.