Break the Chain What The...?

Created 9/30/2003 (9/30/2003) Sensationalism, sex and controversy are, unfortunately, successful staples of global marketing. For good or bad, they get our attention - often more attention than the product deserves.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Dear Friend of the Family,

USA Today recently reported that a group of retailers will soon begin selling new fragrances named FCUK Her and FCUK Him in their stores.

The United Kingdom-based apparel company French Connection Group (which operates under the acronym FCUK, for French Connection U.K.) is producing the new fragrances.

A $10 million marketing campaign built on the theme "Scent to bed," will push the fragrances toward teens. They will be advertising the product in teen-oriented magazines.

***CLICK HERE TO TELL THESE RETAILERS YOU DO NOT APPROVE.***

Go to the site scenttobed.com and you will immediately see the question, "Where the fcuk are you?"

Here are some other examples: In a previous campaign, invitations for a New York party were shaped like hotel doorknob hangers and read "FCUK in progress."

A holiday promotion for the fragrances calls for stores to issue "License to FCUK" cards, which include a code to enter at scenttobed.com for a chance on a trip for six to Club Med and a list of "best pick-up lines." Some stores have refused to join the campaign, but many are eagerly joining with the hopes of making millions by exploiting our children. [Click here to see a list of participating stores.] Please send your email to these retailers letting them know of your concern. (Your message will route through our AFA Action Center to each of the stores listed.)

Send Target a message here: http://www.targetcorp.com/targetcorp_group/contactus/contact_general.jhtml

Please forward this email to just one friend.. It is time to stop the exploitation of our children!

Sincerely,

Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

P.S.: Don't forget to forward this email to just one friend.

www.afa.net
Copyright 2002-2003
American Family Association
All Rights Reserved

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

In mid-2002, clothing retailer Abercrombie and Fitch earned great criticism from conservative activist groups opposed to the stores marketing highly suggestive thong underwear to teens. The outrage was immediate, intense and marginally effective.

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Fast forward to September 2003, when a Company again attempts to cash in on the scandalous combination of sex and teens with a provocative campaign to sell cologne to youngsters. French Connection United Kingdom is a real company that has built its reputation on their name's acronymic similarity to the "king of all four-letter words."

The questionably monikered fragrances, "FCUK for Him" and "FCUK for Her," are also real, as is the controversy around them. Several retailers, including Federated Department Stores (Bloomingdales, Macy's, Lazarus-Macy's), have refused to carry the product because of its racy promotions.

Marshall Field's has carried the French Connection clothing line for years and credits much of the new product's outrage to the company's choice to use only the acronym on the packaging and promotional materials (FCUK's clothing lines carry the company's full name). In response to customer complaints, they have removed the acronym from in-store displays and are evaluating how they market the brand.

What Do You Think?

Category: Armchair Activism
References: Lansing State Journal

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