Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Taking a stand against

I keep seeing their ads online and being annoyed. Turns out I'm not the only one:

Cameron Moll runs a design blog and he's boycotting them.

I've got a similar problem with Abercrombie & Fitch, although I haven't seen ads from them online.

An excerpt from Wikipedia:

"Conservative and religious groups banned the original American publication of A&F Quarterly (published from 1997 to 2003) for its sexually explicit nature. The magazine contained nude photography by Bruce Weber, articles about sex, and recipes for alcoholic beverages. Also acting as a catalog, the Quarterly displayed the brand's merchandise with information and prices. Advertisements for the A&F Quarterly appeared in Interview, Out, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair.

Despite a company policy restricting sale of the publication to minors, critics charged that the publication was readily sold to minors. In 2003, an array of religious organizations, women's rights activists, and Asian American groups organized boycotts and protests over the publication, and the "Christmas Edition" of the catalog was removed from stores. However, Jeffries said he chose to discontinue the catalog, because 'Frankly, [he] was getting sick of the old one; it was getting boring.'"

They've racked up a number of other offenses as well. Among them: selling t-shirts with racially discriminatory slogans and selling racy underwear to pre-teens. Check the rest of the Wikipedia article for more info.

I don't shop with either of those companies. I do recognize the 1st Amendment, which to me means legal action is unnecessary, but vocal objection is justified. Many, if not most, fashion retailers now advertise in ways that sexualize their merchandise, but these two seem to be especially offensive. The online ads are hard to avoid, and I bring up the Abercrombie issue because I know a lot of people who would probably not wear the label if they were aware of the connotations it carries.