Now your children can experience A & F outside the mall! In the emergency room! Gee, I sure hope the doctors and nurses are wearing comfortable khakis and fake-vintage, offensive t shirts. CNN reports that Boston-based Campaign For A Commercial Free Childhood is asking Nationwide Children's Hospital (Columbus, OH) to reconsider using the Abercrombie and Fitch name on its Emergency Room, to which the company pledged $10 million dollars. While many people agree that corporate naming of public and semi-public institutions and venues is pretty icky (Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park...it goes on and on), this particular example is especially distasteful given A & F's troubling advertising history.
"The Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood on Tuesday urged the hospital to drop any plans to put Abercrombie's name on the project, pointing to research that has shown a link between sexualized images of teens in the media and mental health problems in girls. The advocacy group made its position public in a letter to the hospital Tuesday that was signed by about 70 pediatricians and academics from around the United States. "Given this company's appalling history of targeting children with sexualized marketing and clothing, no public health institution should be advertising Abercrombie & Fitch," the letter states. Full article here.
You may recall the outcry against their "racy" 2003 catalogue which portrayed nude and half-dressed young models or that one of the company's Christmas publications declared "Group Sex" on the cover (article here).
Oh, and remember the time they made those racist t shirts? And those sexist t shirts (classics like "Who Needs Brains When You Have These?" and "Old Men Like Tig Old Bitties")? And those thong panties for girls (with more tasteful slogans like "Eye Candy" and "Wink Wink")? Oh, and don't forget this 2004 class action lawsuit!
Yup, they're pretty freaking awesome. The Campaign For Commerical Free Childhood is not telling the hospital not to take the money. But to avoid using the name.
(Story discovered via Feminist Law Professors blog)