Pitch Fitch from your Christmas list
November 26, 2003
"Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come." (Matthew 18:7)
I had heard that Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) was using titillating photos in their catalogs to sell clothes to teens and young adults, but it wasn’t until I walked by the large poster of a nude young girl facing out into the Springfield Battlefield Mall from their store window that I became outraged. There were more lewd pictures posted inside the store. These pictures are inappropriate for a shopping center and especially in a clothing store which caters to young adults. A&F has been unresponsive to complaints by patrons of the mall and from thousands across our nation who have contracted them at: Michael Jeffries, chairman and chief executive officer, Abercrombie & Fitch, 6301 Fitch Path, New Albany , Ohio 43054 . Once a respectable clothier and proprietor of young adults and teen clothing, A&F has chosen to market their sordid reputation of being the titillation extraordinaire of the teen clothing industry. They should be considered mall stalkers who are selling our youth a lifestyle that will give them the grim legacy of STDs, perversion and unhappiness.
Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Missouri held a press conference Nov. 16, regarding A&F’s sexually explicit sex advertising campaign. Several young people in the group of 60 people who gathered in the parking lot opposite the mall waved bright yellow signs to passing motorists which read "Pitch Fitch from your Christmas List" and "A&F Peddles Porn."
CWA targeted the retailer’s nude posters inside the store and called the A&F catalog "pornographic" asserting that the materials inside influence young people toward sexual promiscuity. Being a family friendly community, these nude portraits should not be facing out into the mall where families and little children can see them.
Joining CWA speakers was Missouri State Rep. Mark Wright, who stated that he was there as a concerned parent to encourage other families to refrain from spending money during the Christmas season at Abercrombie & Fitch. "The only thing they are going to understand is a hit in the pocketbook," he said.
Haven Howard, area director of CWA of MO discussed the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases among our young people and how A&F is perpetuating this epidemic. She said, "The posters and the A&F ‘quarterly’ encourage dangerous sexual activity which will kill our kids. A&F must be held accountable by the citizens of the community."
Sarah Craig, CWA district coordinator, shared her concerns about bringing her small son to the mall to shop. She said a friend who had been at the mall with her young daughter was shocked when her daughter saw the pictures and said, "Mommy, close your eyes, they don’t have any clothes on!" A&F is stealing the innocence of our children.
Two weeks previous to the press conference, CWA had presented petitions containing 2000 signatures to the Springfield Mayor’s Commission on Human Rights. Kathy Clancy, executive director of this commission, was present at the press conference and said, "Parents are dropping their kids off at the mall, having no idea of what goes on inside.
The obscene material being displayed to the public is not in keeping with Springfield ‘s idea of community values."
CWA members were encouraged by the positive response from those attending this press conference and thrilled that so many college students came. The students understand that the marketing methods of A&F are not to just sell clothes but promote a dangerous sexual lifestyle. Berna and Steve Proffitt, who operate the Potter’s House coffee house located near the campus of Southwestern Missouri State University , are student counselors. They voiced, "Students today want traditional moral values to be part of society and they are not looking for the ‘sexpertise’ advice dished out in the A&F sex catalog."
Today more parents then ever are concerned about their children becoming sexually active long before marriage, their teen daughters getting pregnant or the rampant spread of sexually transmitted diseases among the young. These parents realize it is time to stop shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch and their other two mall stores, (one Abercrombie store aimed just at kids and the Hollister store).
This fact was brought home to Haven Howard and myself as we were leaving the parking lot after the press conference. A man in a car drove up and told us that his wife had driven to the mall that day to shop. In the past, he had tried to warn her about A&F. After seeing the placards at the press conference, when she went into the mall, she stopped at A&F and purchased "The Christmas Field Guide" catalog to look through it. She was appalled at the photos of nude boys and girls in groups suggesting group sexual activity. There were lots of teen and young adult nudity displayed with many young adults frolicking in a river and otherwise engaging in sexual activity in multiple group settings. This mother and a friend went home and gathered up all their A&F clothes to throw them away. The husband just had to come back to tell us that we had already made a difference!
CWA mailed signed petitions to Simon Properties, which manages the Battlefield Mall in Springfield, requesting that these objectionable pictures be removed from the mall. The mall manager said the stores had to meet "community standards." Does A&F really meet your community standards? If you object to an A&F store where you shop, mention it in a letter to Mr. J. Scott Mumphrey, President, Simon Properties, 115 W. Washington St. , Indianapolis , Ind. 46204 . And remember, PITCH FITCH FROM YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING LIST, and have a blessed Christ-centered Christmas season. (Joey Davis is Missouri State Director of Concerned Women for America and is a member of First Baptist Church, Branson.)