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Abercrombie & Fitch
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To the Abercrombie & Fitch Board and Management:


We believe our corporate words and actions should build a healthy community, and not do anything to exploit youth or to subvert common standards of conduct. And we re not alone. The vast majority of responsible citizens in any community feel the same way.


But that's what separates those responsible citizens from you and your company. We ve seen Abercrombie & Fitch work actively over the last six years to kick down long-held community standards of decency. With no compunction, no twinge of misgiving, you have just laughed and said, "our brand is just youthful and spirited." You ve even had the audacity to label your use of pornographic sexual imagery as "responsible" while you promoted a carefully calculated plan to push an irresponsible sexual "lifestyle" with every T-shirt, hoodie, and sweater you sold.


Your intent is very clear. Your marketing strategy is transparent. As a Board of Directors, you did your research, specifically defined a youthful market, then willfully began to strip away the innocence of children in your pursuit of profit.


Michael Jeffries, as evidenced by your actions as CEO, you ve endorsed the progressively explicit use of pornographic images to attract teenagers to buy your products. In the process, you ve made a great deal of money for yourself and for your shareholders. Yet just because a corporation makes money targeting youth with sex to sell its product doesn t make it right. It s clear you have valued profit over principle when you should have valued both. 


Russell Gertmenian, you ve permitted A&F to publish sex tips from a 19-year old female porn film performer, to print an interview with a male porn actor that used explicit detail to describe men s genitals, sexual arousal, and actual sex acts, and to present promiscuous sex as a recreational sport despite the fact that the U.S. leads the industrialized world in sexually transmitted diseases.


John Golden, you ve allowed the marketing by A&F of "thong" underwear to 5th grade pre-teen girls, underwear imprinted with lurid adult expressions like "Eye Candy," and "Wink, Wink." On your watch, A&F has also encouraged, "for the kinky-minded," having sex between youth and the elderly.


Archie Griffin, of all people, you ve been complicit in the display of nude photos in A&F stores and promotional material, and the depiction by A&F of sexual activity that includes group sex and student-teacher sex, as well as the direct encouragement of group masturbation when group sex wasn t possible.


Seth Johnson, where were you when decision was made to market alcohol to youth? When "creative drinking" recipes like "Brain Hemorage," "Orgasm," and "Dirty Girl Scout Cookie" were approved for publication in your A&F Quarterly? Where were you when these promotional materials were printed and distributed?


John Kessler, you ve stood by while your "Made in USA" labels were sown into A&F garments 6,000 miles away from the USA in the Mariana Islands, where the absence of US labor laws helped the Saipan sweatshops skirt fair wage and work practices.


And Sam Shahid, the credit for the pornographic and homoerotic image campaigns goes to your creative eye. You must know how intensely visual young boys are, and you ve helped feed millions of them their first taste of sexual addiction. Your hands not only helped shape this marketing and brand message, they have kept pushing the envelope open further.





As the Board of Directors of Abercrombie & Fitch,

You should be ashamed!


We will continue telling the truth about what you are doing to as many as we can reach for as long as it takes. Understand that we don t want you out of the clothing business, we just want you out of the sex business, especially because you re targeting vulnerable young kids with sex for your shareholder s profit. It s your choice. You can responsibly re-brand Abercrombie to promote quality products, or we ll work hard to re-brand your company as the irresponsible corporate citizen that you are currently. That s our plan. What s yours?




Contact Abercrombie & Fitch's Board of Directors

Tell them to stop selling sex to kids just to sell clothes







Copyright © 2003 Citizens for Community Values, Inc.
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