Editorial: Marketing, Sleaze or What?

Share this content:
Not sure that I'm buying Illinois Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood's war with Abercrombie & Fitch and its quarterly magalog. But, first, let's be upfront: I am not a parent, yet I hope my belief in free speech would not change my opinion if I were. This month, Wood launched a Web site, www.StopAandF.com, and is gathering names for an online petition to boycott the company and get it to drop the partial nudity and racier content in A&F Quarterly (see story, page 1). "It is my hope as a parent that my children would be able to peruse a clothing catalog without being inundated with graphic images promoting promiscuous - and potentially dangerous - lifestyles, tips on how to drink irresponsibly and interviews with porn stars," Wood writes.


What the lieutenant governor fails to mention is that A&F Quarterly is not a catalog. Yes, catalogs commonly get mailed to people who don't request them. But this is a subscription-based publication that - because of earlier complaints - is now shrink-wrapped and requires a trip to one of the company's retail stores to buy a copy or start a subscription. And, according to A&F, its clerks ask for proof of age. It's not kiddie porn: These models are clearly older than 18. So it seems that the company is doing everything it needs to do to keep the book out of the hands of minors. At some point, it is the parents' responsibility to take charge of their children.


Wood goes on to complain about how A&F markets itself: "Often these pictures do not include any of the clothing your company so eagerly seeks to sell." So what? I can think of many, many other companies that don't promote their products in their advertising. Obviously, A&F is pushing the envelope here to define its image, and it's working. The company has reported 34 consecutive quarters of record sales and earnings. However, just as I don't think A&F should be censored, I'm not telling Wood and her constituents to shut up, either. This country allows free speech. Therefore, let the market decide. If the boycott works and sales drop, you can bet A&F will change its marketing efforts.
close

Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above