Is it a magazine, or a catalog?
Abercrombie & Fitch says it's both, proudly calling its publication a "magalog."
Five On Your Side Investigator Duane Pohlman takes a look at the magalog and the people behind it in his latest report.
Duane Pohlman: "Have you seen the catalog?"
Parent: "I have not seen the catalog before.
Pohlman: You might want to take a look.
"Oh well! This is a catalog... For clothes?"
Pohlman: "I showed the fall magalog -- the sex ed issue -- to parents involved in Akron and Cleveland-area parent teacher groups."
Parent: "They don't have any clothes on!"
Pohlman: "Inside, there's a lot of two-on-one activity. Two young men on one young woman."
Parent: "This is I, I -- this is unbelievable!"
Parent: "There's no morality in this book at all."
Pohlman: In this sequence, a young woman opens her sweater in front of two young men. All three get undressed. It ends with all of them hopping in the back seat of a car. One of the men's hands strategically placed on the young woman.
Parent: "It's disgusting. It's repulsive. It's evil."
Parent: "I think definitely they've crossed the line!"
Parent: "No! I don't think so. I've seen enough."
Pohlman: "In a minute, you'll find out who's behind the decision to sell the magalog --- get ready to be surprised!"
"The list includes an Ohio legend."
Parent: "Oh, really?"
Pohlman: "Tamer versions of the magalog models are displayed in the stores. Part of the Abercrombie & Fitch
Parent: "It's pathetic that they feel that they can't sell their clothes without doing this."
Pohlman: "The sexual imagery has angered parent groups across the country."
"I would certainly label it as pornography."
Pohlman: "The head of Dads and Daughters, a national parent advocacy group, says Abercrombie and Fitch is exploiting young women. His group says families should avoid Abercrombie & Fitch."
Joe Kelly, Dads and Daughters
: "It's just irresponsible. It is literally selling our children's well-being down the river just to make a profit in the next quarterly statement and that infuriates me!"
Pohlman: "Abercrombie &Fitch says it's targeting the college-aged -- 18 to 22 -- insisting its employees check ID's to make sure the magalog is sold only to people 18 and over. But many of its employees aren't 18 --- not old enough to even look at the magalog."
Employee: "It's like the image, ya know. I don't know!
"A lot of high schoolers wear A&F clothing, and yes, they've seen the magalog."
Employee: "Yea. They show a lot of skin. Hot guys! Nice bodies!"
"Those chicks are so fly! They're so hot! I'd hit it with all of 'em!"
Pohlman: "The decision to market with a heavy emphasis on sex starts here at Abercrombie & Fitch's campuslike headquarters in New Albany, Ohio, outside of Columbus, but that's not where it ends."
"Abercrombie & Fitch has a board of directors, and here's that surprise I promised you -- that board contains some of the most prestigious people you can find."
"It includes the vice chancellor of Vanderbilt University, the chairman of the board of trustees of Colgate University, the former chairman of The Ohio State University board of trustees, the honorary director of Goodwill in Columbus and a board chair for a regional Girl Scout council."
"It even includes a living legend."
"Archie Griffin, the only two-time Heisman trophy winner. His name is synonymous with Ohio State. He's now the associate director of athletics and about to become the head of the OSU Alumni Association."
"He's also been involved in children's charities. That's why it's so surprising he's associated with this."
Parent: "I just really can't believe that a person of his standing could stoop to something like this!"
Pohlman: "I'm Duane Pohlman."
Griffin: "How you doing?"
Pohlman: "After repeated attempts to get a comment, I caught up with Griffin at Ohio State."
Pohlman: "Well, do you feel comfortable?"
Griffin: "I... Ah that... That's... Ah..."
Pohlman: "Well, I'm just asking I'm just asking because everybody respects you."
"But listen to what Archie Griffin says as he's walking away."
Griffin: "I don't appreciate you doing that. OK?"
Parent: "We don't appreciate this being presented to our children!"
Pohlman: "Then, there's Dr. Kathryn Sullivan."
"Sullivan is the first woman to walk in space. She is now the CEO and president of COSI, a hands-on science centers in Columbus."
Parent: "Where we take our children on field trips!"
"She's also been named a national woman of distinction by the Girl Scouts and when I confronted her. She was also an Abercrombie board member."
Pohlman: "Dr. Sullivan, the one thing we hear over and over again is why would a woman approve this?"
Sullivan: "Good evening."
Pohlman: "Don't you think you owe them an explanation?"
"On the next business day, Sullivan resigned from the Abercrombie & Fitch board."
"But to find the real brains behind the Abercrombie & Fitch advertising campaign, you have to come here, to New York City, the advertising capital of the world."
"Sam Shahid is not just a board member. He produces Abercrombie's magalog and advertising and is paid millions doing it."
"EquAssist -- and independent stock research firm -- says that's a significant conflict of interest."
"Shahid is the man behind these memorable ads for Calvin Klein in the '80s."
"I'm Duane Pohlman with NewsChannel5 out of Cleveland."
Shahid: "Oh, hi."
Pohlman: "After repeated attempts to get a comment, I went to New York and met Mr. Shahid as he arrived to work at his studios in lower Manhattan."
Shahid: "I'm busy."
Pohlman: "Mr. Shahid, we're just trying to get an answer."
"All the board members referred me to Abercrombie's director of corporate communications -- Tom Lennox -- who everyone told me would talk."
Lennox: "I'm declining an interview."
Pohlman: "So, Abercrombie & Fitch is declining an interview about this subject?"
Pohlman: "On what grounds?"
Lennox: "We have the right to ... decline the interview."
Pohlman: "No one says you don't. But, on what grounds are you declining?"
Lennox: "I don't have to give you a right! I just decline the interview!"
Pohlman: "It got worse."
"Hello. Hello. He hung up on me!"
"The president of Dads and Daughters wasn't surprised. He's tried to contact the company numerous times.
Kelly: "We haven't heard anything back, either."
Pohlman: "But after what they've seen, parents say they will make themselves heard."
"How many of you will go shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch again?
Parent: "I don't think so!"
Read the Abercrombie & Fitch statement.
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