To bring the less frequent social media users up to date: Last week, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries came under intense criticism when he claimed that he wanted his company to only cater to the “cool” kids. He went on to say that the company does not offer clothes in plus sizes because fat people don’t belong in A&F clothing. In an interview, Jeffries stated the following:
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he says. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
These comments went viral with the help of social media, and all major media sources were covering the story. People hated this man. As amazing as it is having social media put Jeffries under the shameful spotlight, social media is now doing something more amazing. A new campaign is encouraging people to donate their A&F clothing to homeless shelters around the country and then post stories on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag, #FitchTheHomeless. This is an effort to do exactly what the CEO does not want: destroying the clothing brand and making it the brand of the homeless.
The campaign started with a promotional video on YouTube informing the public of the CEO’s bigotry and then asking them to donate A&F clothing to the homeless. In just 2 days, the video had over 900,000 views and is being spread around social media like wildfire. The campaign is utilizing all forms of social media to serve up justice, and all the action can be followed with the hashtag #FitchTheHomeless.
This creative campaign combatting the CEO’s elitist views shows how much potential social media has at serving up justice in a completely legal way. This is an attack at the brand, which will undoubtedly lead to less sales and hopefully pressure the company into reconsidering its position. Imagine how devastated the CEO would be seeing his dream of clothing the “cool kids” crushed as he sees homeless people everywhere wearing his clothing. Mike Jeffries dug himself a deep hole when he made the comments, but now this campaign is out to bury him alive. Not to mention, it’s helping society’s less fortunate as well.
One criticism I have about this campaign is that it urges donating to the homeless only as a way to get revenge on a corporation. What ever happened to donating just to help people? This could be sending the wrong message about the morality in helping others. Regardless, I don’t think the homeless will be complaining if they are offered free, new clothing.
2 Birds, 1 stone. One campaign is attacking a bigot while clothing the homeless. Good for you.