sells, ethics absent from advertising industry
is no surprise that the No. 1 marketing tactic these
days is sex propaganda. Sex and crude behavior are being
used to sell all ranges of products to Americans. The
worst part is that the targeted age group is getting
younger and younger. Whether it is in music videos,
commercials or clothing catalogs, the growing trend
is undeniable. Sex sells, and the entertainment and
retail industries are cashing in.
Clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has been under
the microscope for some time now about the material
it displays in its catalogues and large posters hanging
in its stores. They distribute mail order catalogues
only to those who are 18, or legal adults. That should
tell you something right there. A customer has to be
able to buy pornography to buy the Abercrombie &
There has also been scrutiny about suggestive posters
that are hung in high visibility in actual Abercrombie
& Fitch stores. Just before this past Christmas,
someone finally got fed up and decided to do something
about it. Dr. James Dobson, president of Focus on Family,
a conservative Christian group out of Colorado Springs,
called for a national boycott of the retailer. The nation
responded, and Abercrombie & Fitchs stock
has since dropped 15 percent. As a spokesman for Focus
on Family, Dobson later made a television appearance
warning the retailer that Focus on Family has a $200,000
ad campaign coming against them.
I think it is great that a group took the initiative
to call Abercrombie & Fitch out and make a statement.
It is about time that Americans take responsibility
for the form of advertisement they respond to. Have
you ever turned your television on mute and watched
one commercial segment? It is truly amazing to watch
commercials and advertisements without the distraction
of sound. You will find that almost every commercial
has some sexual reference in it.
Retailers who use sex to sell their products are lacking
in the areas of ethics and character, but those who
target children are just downright greedy and sick.
For example, Abercrombie & Fitchs last mail
order catalogue advertised by using pictures of groups
of eight to 10 people barely clothed in the photos.
What are they really trying to sell to the American
youth, clothes or sex?
When asking yourself this question, I call on you to
keep in mind that they are a company that sells clothes,
yet rarely uses clothing in their advertisements. They
know what they are doing, but they do not care because
they are making money. American retailers are cashing
in on American youths impressionable minds.
Granted, Abercrombie & Fitch would never be considered
the only retailer to be participating in this. It is
commendable that a group rallied together to fight what
has become the accepted norm, and they made an impact.
Hopefully the declining stocks will grab Abercrombie
& Fitchs attention, and they will turn their
advertising tactics around. The most pathetic part of
all this is that the retailer will be more likely to
respond to the sinking stocks than to their conscience.
Cooksley is a freshman political science major from