One New Jersey mom was checking on an Urban Outfitters order at the request of her teen daughter and went online to see if it had been shipped. But when Margaret Gutierrez visited the site she was disturbed to see not only what the website said, but also some of the items being sold with the same phrase.
This trendy apparel store, which appeals to preteens and teens (but also sells baby clothing), has been known for pushing limits or being slightly shocking. It’s part of their appeal to young people. Remember how you always wanted to see whatever was deemed too controversial by your parents? Well, hats off to the marketing team at the store because they seem to have hit the coolness factor in today’s teen market. And not only that, they do it while keeping up their high prices.
So what is so disturbing now?
Here’s what the hoopla is all about. On the homepage, there is a phrase that says “Punk as f%$*” There is also a symbol of a marijuana leaf, and the store sells stickers with both.
Gutierrez wants to see these items and icons removed, saying it sends the absolute wrong message to today’s youth. (Uh-oh, hope she didn’t see the “Games, Toys, and Fun Sh!t “ category.)
Most of my teen daughter’s schoolmates shop at Urban Outfitters. She actually bought a bag there for school that was delivered just yesterday. When she was ordering just a few days ago, I scoured through pages of bags with her and I’ll admit, I didn’t even notice the phrase until I saw the news report.
I gotta say the clothes are cute and I like a lot of them, even for myself. Do I find the phrase appropriate? Not really. Will it stop me from buying things there? Not if they’re on sale.
If anything, I find some of the prices more disturbing. $44 for a t-shirt? (Admittedly, there are deals to be had and many trendy shirts in the $10-$20 range.)
But I get the angst. A major retailer whose demographic includes children should probably think twice before placing the F bomb up on their homepage. And yet I also think that anyone who has ever been near a junior high school or on a city bus when school gets out has probably heard that word about 20 times within 10 minutes. It doesn’t make right. It is what it is and I’d much rather that word than a word filled with hate.
Of course, Urban Outfitters has not issued a public response, although I’m sure they’re soaking up all this publicity (another win for their marketing team).
Do you think Urban Outfitters should be boycotted for using the F word on their homepage? Do you shop there?
And most importantly, what’s more obscene, the F word or a $44 t-shirt?
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