Surprise! Abercrombie at Center of Controversy

Abercrombie & Fitch is making headlines again. This time because, of all things, it made a $10-million donation to a Ohio hospital, and now the facility’s new emergency room and trauma center will be named after the retailer.

A coalition made up of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, pediatricians and Parents for Ethical Marketing is asking Nationwide Children’s Hospital (named after a Nationwide Insurance donation) in Columbus to not use Abercrombie’s name. The group is worried because of Abercrombie’s controversial advertisements depicting scantily-clothed young people, which have had no lack of attention.

An odd aside concerning this situation is that Abercrombie, which is based outside of Columbus in New Albany is not the only local retailer to make a donation to the hospital. New Albany-based Tween Brands’ Limited Too and Justice chains will also be represented in a new lobby as a result of a donation that company made.

We know, controversy is nothing new for Abercrombie, and it doesn’t seem to impact sales. Net sales during its fourth quarter rose 8%, to just over $1.2 billion, and net income was up 9%, to $216.8 million.

But will it hurt the company in the future? Or is there no such thing as bad publicity?

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1 Response to “Surprise! Abercrombie at Center of Controversy”


  1. 1 klemons June 16, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    I don’t think this could hurt the company, otherwise they wouldn’t have done it. If anything it could hurt the hospital – the last thing a parent of a sick child needs to hear is that their little baby is under observation in the tiny tank top ward, right next to the over priced flip flop waiting room, sponsored by overly casual large sweat pants.
    On the flip side if Abercrombie is able to donate needed facilities or supplies to aid in the recovery of children then so be it. I know I wouldn’t turn a hospital away if they were the best available to my child simply because of the name of a “hall” or “ward” or “operating room.”
    Good for Abercrombie for getting their name out there for the good of somebody rather than printed across some college student’s navel.


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