Purveyors of Corporate Porn

Landry Brewer

If sex sells, Abercrombie & Fitch is making profits hand over fist. The clothing conglomerate joins the growing parade of corporations who use sex to sell their wares, though their advertising aimed at high school and college age kids pushes the envelope farther than the rest. Its quarterly catalogs are filled with pornographic photographs of naked co-eds, often in sexually explicit poses. And huge photographs adorning their stores in malls around the country are only slightly less revealing.

The following is taken from Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Back to School” quarterly catalog, as quoted in an e-mail publication by the American Decency Association. In it, the company not only shows pornographic images, it advertises a pornographic film company.

…It’s a porn company—and your guidance counselor’s worst nightmare. Shane’s World sexy stars have taken reality TV and added a twist—you on film, in all your naked glory. They invade campuses, throw parties…all while it’s filmed. Bored with watching porn? This semester you and your buddies can star in one… Then the article gives details and raises and answers the question how you can get this porno company to come to your campus.

Even with repulsive advertising methods, the brand’s appeal is obvious judging by the number of youths sporting the conspicuously emblazoned clothes. What many unsuspecting parents may not know is their children are indirectly endorsing pornography. And parents who do know of these low means yet approve purchases are complicit enablers of the company’s depravity. Buying their clothing legitimizes this brand of tawdry manipulation, encouraging and rewarding the illicit advertising campaign.

Sadly, Madison Avenue’s saturation of the advertising market with sexually charged images, endorsing everything from automobiles to rice, continues apace. Abercrombie & Fitch is merely taking the trend to the next level. Television, movies, newspapers, magazines, and now clothing catalogs bombard us daily with visions of indecently dressed people doing ungodly things. Radio is no better, filling the airwaves with songs and advertisements championing verbally what it can’t pictorially.

While America collectively sits back and accepts this, what is the Christian to do? Indecent images produce indecent thoughts which will cause one to be lost (Matt. 5:28). Therefore, shunning these images and sounds as much as possible is paramount. So turn off your television. If you must watch, install the profanity filtering TV Guardian. Unfortunately it doesn’t filter images, so the first recommendation is preferable. Avoid ungodly movies. Turn off the radio.

Drastic and unnecessary, you say? Inspired New Testament writers plainly warn against ungodly influences (1 Cor. 15:33). Acquaintances can influence our behavior negatively, which most people realize. What many fail to understand is that being surrounded with ungodly people and their sinful activities on the small or silver screen is no different. Constant reinforcement of sinful behavior upon young and old alike will morally erode even the spiritually minded person. And with the proliferation of fleshly commercials, the avid TV-watcher isn’t given a break from the debauchery.

In Second Corinthians, chapter 6, Paul warns of the evil influences of idolaters. He commands Christians there to “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers…come out from among them and be ye separate…” (vv. 14,17). Obviously, he fears the brethren will be induced to sin by the influence of idolatrous associates. The same principle applies to 21st century Christians.

Television, movies, radio and other media have become ingrained in American society. They’re a part of us. But Jesus teaches that we must give up anything – even things near and dear to us—that cause us to sin (Matt. 5:29-30).

While this will help insulate the Christian from salacious influences, more must be done. If titillating the masses wasn’t lucrative, Abercrombie & Fitch and the rest wouldn’t use such advertising. With this in mind, don’t purchase Abercrombie & Fitch’s clothing, or the products of any company that sinks to such degraded depths.

Instead of quietly resigning ourselves to the worldly direction of society, we need to follow the example of a Christian this author knows. Sherry Touchstone, who formerly owned a clothing consignment store, called “New & Nearly New” in Clinton, Oklahoma, refused to take consignments of, or sell, Abercrombie & Fitch clothing due to its use of pornography.

Avoiding businesses that employ these methods of advertising, and encouraging others to do the same are the easiest, and maybe the most effective things we can do to stanch the flow of corporate sponsored immorality.

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Author: Editor

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