June 15, 2001
3:41 PM   Subscribe

Apparently, the Lt. Governor of Illinois has WAY too much time on her hands.... Of course, rallying public support for a boycott of Abercrombie & Fitch doesn't really seem like what she was elected to do, but hey, never hurts to throw your title around when your teenagers are going ga-ga over half-naked muscle-boys, huh?
posted by m.polo (24 comments total)

A better reason to not shop at A&F would be because of their overpriced merchandise which has their name plastered all over them wouldn't it?
posted by gyc at 3:53 PM on June 15, 2001

Oh goodness gracious! My giddy aunt! 14 year old girls drool after boys! Call in the National Guard!

This is a piss-poor reason to boycott A&F. Granted, A&F's ads are inherently rank sensationalism, a Calvin Klein hand-me-down for the Tiger Beat reading crowd.

Still, the interesting notion is why Ms. Wood feels the need to go after scantily clad young boys, as opposed to scantily clad young girls, such as Britney Spears, who for my money is far more flagrant in her adolescent sexual parading in that she flaunts her stuff quite visibly on an omnipresent Diet Pepsi commercial. If that isn't a double standard concerning a young woman's right to drool or otherwise exhibit lust, then I don't know what is.
posted by ed at 4:02 PM on June 15, 2001

Publishing an interview with Jenna Jameson may have been a bit boneheaded, but otherwise, there ain't much in the catalog that Calvin Klein hasn't already done. Here is a gallery of scans if you want to judge for yourself.
posted by machaus at 4:18 PM on June 15, 2001

A tacky, unimaginative method of bringing attention to the fact that A&F uses tacky, unimaginative photos to sell its tacky, unimaginative merchandise to tacky, unimaginative kids.

posted by Dreama at 4:23 PM on June 15, 2001


what are they selling here?!?

at first i was thinking 'oh great, some old bag is going haywire over some advertising', but this?

this is garbage.

if it's NOT SELLING CLOTHES, why is it in a CLOTHES catalogue.

then again, i also think the idea of a mostly naked girl selling soda is pretty goddamn stupid as well.
posted by jcterminal at 4:40 PM on June 15, 2001

And besides, it's not meant for her daughters. *cough homos cough*
posted by jessie at 4:43 PM on June 15, 2001

Today, the company no longer allows their catalogs to invade our homes unless a subscription is requested; all catalogs are now shrink-wrapped as other adult magazines have been for years; and customers who wish to subscribe to the catalog are now carded as if they were purchasing cigarettes or alcohol.

Unfortunately however, it’s now clear that Abercrombie & Fitch just didn’t get the main point.

Ahh, so the fact that children were seeing these nasty images wasn't the problem. The problem was with the ideas presented. Good thing there's nothing wrong with government officials using state resources to prevent nasty things from being said.
posted by dchase at 4:55 PM on June 15, 2001

Sorry, I think their ad campaign is genius. Selling a lifestyle is much more effective than selling a product.

Their target customer can buy a pair of shorts or a shirt anywhere. But Amercrombie (that ubiquitous name/logo on everything they sell) clothes says about the wearer an idea or image that transcends the actual garment. In this case, they're after suburban upper-middle-class teens and young adults who do think about or are sexually active.
posted by stevis at 4:58 PM on June 15, 2001

yup, porn. more porn than art. er, maybe its just erotic art. no, wait, its supposed to be a clothes brochure. well, I guess first its a lesson on pop culture, second its a selling device. I will say, however, after looking through those pics, I felt kind of, you know, funny.
posted by tomplus2 at 4:58 PM on June 15, 2001

A tacky, unimaginative method of bringing attention to the fact that A&F uses tacky, unimaginative photos to sell its tacky, unimaginative merchandise to tacky, unimaginative kids.


Dreama, you're so cool. Has there ever been anyone as cool as you? Will you be our queen?
posted by rodii at 5:21 PM on June 15, 2001

I hope the good governor redirects her efforts at funding a media literacy program so kids grow up knowing what a pathetically transparent attempt stuff like A&F are at hawking stupid products.

I hope high school kids can graduate knowing this equation:

if (a little sex) = (a little sales)

then (a lot of sex) = (a lot of sales)

theorem: as publicity goes up sales go up, regardless of whether the publicity is good or bad. If ignored, sales go down.
posted by mathowie at 5:30 PM on June 15, 2001

Here's the letter which I, as a tax paying citizen of the State of Illinois, just sent off:

Dear Lieutenant Govenor Wood,

While I'm sure your intentions are good, your call to boycott Abercrombie & Fitch rather embarrassingly demonstrates your naivete regarding A&F, marketing in general and today's teenagers.

Firstly, it's abundantly clear that the models in A&F Quarterly are adults quite squarely in their twenties. There are no children being exploited, so that claim is not only false but panders - with a whiff of desperation - to the knee-jerk 'family values' contingent.

Secondly, sex sells. This is rule number one of marketing. To pretend to be shocked by this reality is disingenuous at best.

Thirdly, when you found the catalog in your daughter's room and removed it, you did the right thing: you acted as her parent and controlled her access to material you don't believe she is ready for. Good for you. Your role in government is, and should only be, to encourage other parents to follow your example - not launch boycotts to bring companies around to your way of thinking. If you wish to only support wholesome, clean cut clothing companies, Eddie Bauer and Lands End are more than willing to welcome your dollars.

Your boycott amounts to no more than feel-goodism and censorship trussed up in 'Protect the Children!' rhetoric.

And, really - aren't there more positive and direct ways that you, in your role as Lieutenant Governor, could pursue in your desire to help children?



More to the point, the only real offense A&F has committed in the past few years has been their turnabout in clothing styles - whereas I once depended on them for sweaters, jeans and shirts - I now walk away in disgust because I'm not the Target Demo.
posted by gsh at 5:33 PM on June 15, 2001

And let's not forget the corrollary:

(a lot of outcry against product) = (human curiosity/forbidden fruit planted in basest lobes) = (more sales)
posted by ed at 5:33 PM on June 15, 2001

it is a lifestyle, so goes the song, "i like girls that wear abercrombie and fitch" and guys calling themselves "ambercrombie boys"

frankly, i think it is just overpriced clothes that make you a billboard for the store.

but i do enjoy the catalogs. :-) hehe
posted by benjh at 5:34 PM on June 15, 2001

the lady can boycott whatever she wants. i don't really understand why this elicits so much negative attention. a parent is just a little over protective and that's her right. if the state of IL allows her expression of opposition in the way she's doing it I totally respect both her assertiveness as a woman and her right to at least have some sense of moral responsibility -- regardless of how i feel about what A&F is doing.
posted by greyscale at 6:19 PM on June 15, 2001

Am I the only one here who thinks the A&F catalog is nice? Not that I'd buy anything at their prices, but at least it's aestheticly pleasing.. I wish more adverts were like that :)

And as for the complaint: Sure, it's pictures of nude/semi-nude people. If you don't want your daughter having those pictures, don't let her. *ponders it being just like the whole tv-violence thing, only it looks a lot nicer*
posted by fvw at 6:24 PM on June 15, 2001

Wasn't there a parody link from like, The Onion or someplace, awhile back that claimed Ambercrombie & Fitch was being accused of unfair treatment of their models? I can't recall where I read it but the basic gist of it was they were locking all their models up in closets and refusing to let them eat for months at a time. Something like that.

It was funny. Anyone else see this or am I hallucinating?
posted by ZachsMind at 7:11 PM on June 15, 2001

the lady can boycott whatever she wants. i don't really understand why this elicits so much negative attention
I agree, it's no big deal if she, as an individual, wants everyone to boycott A & F. It's no big deal if she, as an individual, starts up a web site to state her personal opinion. But, it's a very big deal, if she, as Lt. Governor, uses the State's official website (http://www.state.il.us/) to advocate the suppression of ideas. The state is not supposed to try and block the expression if ideas. The state of Illinois shouldn't be allowing her to express her opposition in the way she's doing it.
posted by dchase at 7:37 PM on June 15, 2001

I must be the only person here who wears Abercrombie, so I better not say anything.
posted by swank6 at 8:49 PM on June 15, 2001

dchase hit it on the nosie... It's this information which caused me to post this in the first place:

Domain Name: stopaandf.com
Office Of the Lieutenant Governor (STOPAANDF-DOM)
100 West Randolph Ste. 15-200
Chicago, IL 60602

Administrative Contact, Billing Contact:
Office Of the Lieutenant Governor (N19704-OR) erichawk1@yahoo.com
Office Of the Lieutenant Governor
100 West Randolph Ste. 15-200
Chicago, IL 60602
312 8145220 fax: 312 8145228

Not her as a mother - an individual person, with a right to voice her opinion - no, the Office Of the Lieutenant Governor. Taxpayers in Illinois are footing the bill for this, whether we want to or not and completely beside the question of how appropriate or inappropriate the message of the material may be.

(Oh, yeah, and *cough*fuckyoujessieyouhomophobiclittleasshole*cough*. Your "contribution" to the discussion was a shitty little cheap shot in an otherwise intelligent discussion about this kind of marketing and the appropriateness of using public funds to wage the campaign to shut it down. What, you wanted to comment on the fact that many gay men are in fact appreciative purchasers of the finely photographed A&F catalog? Fine. Do it, since it happens to be true. Back it up with something meaningful and maybe we'll all learn something. Wanna lob wink-wink-nudge-nudge junior high school cafeteria taunts? I'm sure there are dozens of chatrooms over at AOL you'd be very welcome in.)
posted by m.polo at 9:22 PM on June 15, 2001

only middle-class poseurs wear the t-shirts with the name plastered across the front... the A&F shit i own is sturdy fishing gear and doesn't advertise anything. they're kinda expensive but is it my fault JC Penney doesn't carrying anything in my size?
posted by techgnollogic at 10:06 PM on June 15, 2001

Hey! Homophobes are people too, okay? I don't wanna hear this hazing on poor defenseless homophobes. We all have the inalienable right to think and believe and express ourselves and blah blah blah so long as we're not Lieutenant Governors. And that goes double for anyone contributing nothing but little cheap shots into otherwise intelligent conversations. Play nice!

Personally I think someone should seriously look into Corinne Wood's wardrobe and have the fashion Nazis attack her. Come to think of it, the fashion Nazis should attack A&F people too. As a matter of fact let's all just start wearing loin cloths and stop this silly argument right here and now. I mean let's face it: all clothes look pretty stupid. Who came up with this idea anyway? Walking around wearing stuff on bodies when we already have an epidermal layer sufficiently protecting internal organs. This is ludicrous...
posted by ZachsMind at 10:09 PM on June 15, 2001

There's always the underlying reason why she must be doing this to consider. According to a recent Chicago Tribune, the governor of IL will lose against almost any one who will run against him, making it very likely the Ltn. Governor will be out of a job. She's probably looking for a way to get her name out, so she can run for another office, and figured no one would be pissed off by this move.
posted by drezdn at 12:21 PM on June 16, 2001

Dammit, she's making Abercrombie and Fitch haters look bad.
posted by dagnyscott at 6:37 PM on June 16, 2001

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