–From the Archives – Exact Date Unknown —
American Decency Association involved itself with the Abercrombie concern when Michigan’s then Attorney General Jennifer Granholm threatened A&F with legal action if they didn’t discontinue the sale of their pornographic catalog to minors. That was the 1999 Christmas catalog. In many ways, we have been a ministry that has watch-dogged this concerning corporation ever since. Our lengthy abercrombie page bears that out. A&F TRENDS — A&F has exhibited a disingenuous response to controversy. In fact, it is a very rare thing for A&F to engage itself in debate. They seem to flee such opportunities. In countless media opportunities, interviewers have told me that no one from A&F was available. They are “spin doctors”. A&F’s spokesman is Hampton Carney. When he does comment, he defends A&F’s quarterly and advertising practicing by claiming “It’s all about fun.” or similar meaningless statements. BUT WHAT IS OUR TAKE ON THE PRESENT SITUATION? As you know, the story of Abercrombie pulling its pornographic Christmas 2003 quarterly broke when a writer for the National Review released the story on Monday, December 2. It appeared initially that A&F had not only pulled the catalog but that they would no longer be selling the quarterly at their 600+ stores. Anne Morse writing for the National Review reported that it was because of the massive phone calling response generated by Dr. James Dobson’s speaking passionately on the subject on his radio program Focus on the Family. An A&F corporate employee stated they were receiving 300 calls an hour for 2 weeks. A&F now says that is not the case. They claim that the pressure this year is, in fact, less than last year. A&F says the real reason they got rid of the catalog was to make room for a perfume display. OUR COUNSEL FROM SEVERAL YEARS ENGAGED IN THE “FIGHT”. Don’t believe the spin you hear from A&F. We believe the pressure against A&F is mounting. We believe that in all likelihood A&F did receive a massive amount of calls. We know that Dr. Dobson often generates that many calls. We don’t believe that A&F got rid of those catalogs to make room for a perfume display. They didn’t invest thousands upon thousands of dollars for the Christmas quarterly to destroy them before the Christmas season ended. WHAT ABOUT A&F’S FUTURE PLANS? ADA’S SPECULATIONS (1) A&F will continue doing business as usual a. pornographic catalogs at their mall stores and by subscriptions b. indecent wall and window displays will continue promoting recreational, deviant sex c. shirtless male greeters A&F will continue doing business as usual until finances dictate that they must alter their marketing practices WHAT CAN WE DO? WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO? (1) PRAY FOR A&F decision makers. (2) If you have recently purchased A&F clothing, take it back – express your concern – and ask for your money back. (3) Discuss A&F with your youth. Variety of issues surrounding this: a. Christians. Do we identify with Christ and His love and righteousness? Or do we identify with Satan and his works of deception, darkness – tugging at us to identify with flesh, being on the edge, titillating? b. Boycotting. It’s a good thing to have convictions. To believe so much in what is good, right, honoring that you make a full-hearted decision not to align with a company and/or product that goes against your conviction – even if others could care less. (4) Please pray that many of us will seek God for greater passion for personal purity and holiness. That God will raise up numbers of us who are indignant over things such as what Abercrombie & Fitch is doing. Pray that many others will take a stand by speaking out directly at their local stores – young people as well as adults.