MEDIA WATCH: A&F suffers fallout from catalog saga

Did Abercrombie & Fitch cross the line with its catalogs full of scantily clad and nude models? Some would say the recent furor is part of a long-term strategy intended to market adolescent edginess. Others see the clothier desperate to reverse sagging sales. A&F has also been criticized for its hiring policies, racially insulting T-shirt designs, and thongs aimed at pre-teens. If the adage that "any news is good news" held true, A&F's image and financials would probably be looking rosier than they do.

Did Abercrombie & Fitch cross the line with its catalogs full of scantily clad and nude models? Some would say the recent furor is part of a long-term strategy intended to market adolescent edginess. Others see the clothier desperate to reverse sagging sales. A&F has also been criticized for its hiring policies, racially insulting T-shirt designs, and thongs aimed at pre-teens. If the adage that "any news is good news" held true, A&F's image and financials would probably be looking rosier than they do.

Most frequent messages 1. The catalog is too racy 2. Outrage from parents and activists 3. Abercrombie & Fitch pulls its catalog 4. There were plenty of protests/boycotts 5. There is a history of controversy

Based on 105 stories from major US newspaper and TV sources appearing between Nov. 5-Dec. 22, 2003. Evaluation and analysis by Delahaye Medialink.

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