Abercrombie and Flinch

If you go into your local shopping mall, you'll find something missing from the counter at Abercrombie & Fitch, the clothing store that uses porn to sell clothing to kids. The Christmas edition of its quarterly magazine is gone. Although the company won't admit it, economic pressure from thousands of citizens is almost certainly the reason it pulled the "Christmas Field Guide" from all 651 stores. The issue featured pictures of naked male and female models in sexual poses, including group sex. And advice from a so-called "sexpert" urges kids to get as much sexual experience as they can in college -- including "sex for three." How this came about is an interesting story. Joe Gibbs, former coach of the Washington Redskins and now a NASCAR owner, called me a month or so ago absolutely outraged over the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog. I've done several BreakPoints on the issue. He also called my friend Jim Dobson. Jim got on the air immediately on his radio show and urged listeners to call Abercrombie and say they were boycotting the products. Groups like the American Decency Association and the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families joined in. The result? The day before Thanksgiving, my colleague Anne Morse went into an Abercrombie store in Bethesda, Maryland. As Morse wrote on National Review Online, when she asked for a copy of the quarterly, she was told by a manager that all Abercrombie stores had been ordered, the day before, to stop selling the quarterly. No reason was given for the decision, the manager said. Morse called Abercrombie's national headquarters in Ohio. Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries was not available, but an employee told Morse that Abercrombie stores were being boycotted all over the country. And he said the company had been receiving three hundred calls per hour from citizens angry about its catalog exposing kids to porn. Who, Morse wanted to know, was behind the boycott effort? "Ever hear of Dr. Dobson?" the young man replied. Morse then called the company's ordering number and asked if she could buy a copy of the quarterly over the phone. No, she was told; from now on, the quarterly will be available only to people with existing subscriptions. Morse's article was posted online last Monday morning, and by Monday afternoon, Abercrombie executives were denying everything: Yes, they had yanked the Christmas quarterly right at the start of the Christmas shopping season -- but no, the boycotts had nothing to do with it. They denied the company had been receiving calls from the public. Hampton Carney, a spokesman for the company, told reporters that Abercrombie simply needed the counter space for a new perfume display. Sure they did. They not only peddle porn -- they don't tell the truth. Abercrombie says the spring issue of the quarterly will hit the stores in January -- and it will be just like it has always been. If so, pro-family groups will continue this boycott, because this is a fight we must win. Call us here at BreakPoint (1-877-3-CALLBP), and we'll tell you what you can do in this boycott. Christians are called to be salt and light -- and that includes protecting kids from sexual sewage and lifestyle advice that would destroy them if they took it. Take action: Contact Abercrombie & Fitch and let them know how you feel about their quarterly publication: Michael Jeffries, CEO, Abercrombie & Fitch, 6301 Fitch Path, New Albany, OH 43054; Phone 614-283-6500. For further reading and information: Learn more about the boycott against Abercrombie & Fitch. Call 1-877-322-5527 to request the fact sheet "How to Keep Your Kids 'Unbranded,'" which includes facts and tips to help parents teach teens to understand how advertising and marketing works. Read Joe Gibbs's letter to Michael Jeffries, president of Abercrombie & Fitch. Anne Morse, "'Field Guide' Bye-Bye," National Review Online, 1 December 2003. Parija Bhatnagar, "Stripping Abercrombie," CNN, 4 December 2003. Parija Bhatnagar, "Abercrombie: What's the naked truth?" CNN, 2 December 2003.
  1. Parvaz, "Nudity, sex articles in Abercrombie & Fitch 'magalog' draw fire," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 3 December 2003.
"Abercrombie ex-bosses: Pretty workers favored," Chicago Sun-Times, 7 December 2003. Joseph Sabia, "Abercrombie & Filth," Cornell Review, Freshman Issue 2001, 31 August 2001. Karla Dial, "Megan vs. A&F," Boundless, 6 February 2003. Roberto Rivera, "More Than Just Pants," Boundless, 10 June 1999. William F. Buckley, Jr., "Show your ID before reading,", 20 June 2001. Martha Kleder, "Abercrombie & Fitch Sells More Sex Than Clothes," Family Voice, September/October 2001. See the BreakPoint commentaries: "From Diapers to Thongs," "Not Your Father's Tweeds," "Bankrupt at Age Twenty-Five," and "Image Is Everything." Gina Dalfonzo, "What Aren't You Kids Doing!?BreakPoint Online, 4 June 2002.


Chuck Colson


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