Abercrombie Markets Children’s Thongs, Riles Critics

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Abercrombie & Fitch has come under attack once again for its racy marketing tactics.

This time, the firm is marketing thong underwear in children’s sizes at its Abercrombie stores with words like “eye candy” and “wink wink” printed on the front. The stores targets children ages 7 to 14, spokesperson Hampton Carney said.

The underwear is designed to be marketed to girls ages 10 to 14, he said.

The American Decency Association (ADA) reacted angrily to the line of clothing.

“The average person on the street reacts with indignation when made aware of A&F’s merchandising schemes,” ADA president Bill Johnson said in a statement. “Parents are outraged by the sexualization of children and the attack on their innocence.”

New Albany, OH-based A&F defended its position.

“The underwear for young girls was created with the intent to be lighthearted and cute,” Abercrombie said in a statement. “Any misrepresentation of that is purely in the eye of the beholder.

Some news reports told stories of angry mothers confronting store clerks with the underwear who admitted receiving complaints from other mothers.

ADA and other family groups have called for a boycott of A&F after their summer catalog emerged with male and female nudity. ADA claims that A&F is arrogantly and aggressively targeting children and that it intends to continue to use highly volatile pornographic images to sell clothing geared toward teens and college-age customers.

Last October, A7F canceled the holiday issue of its magalog in the wake of Sept. 11 saying it was “out of step with the solemn mood we’re all in.”

And in June 2001 Illinois Gov. Corinne Wood launched a Web site calling for a boycott of A&F to protest its use of partially nude models. “I am disgusted by the sexual images Abercrombie & Fitch is using to sell its clothing line to a young, impressionable preteen and teenage audience,” Wood said at the time.

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