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The summer I worked at Abercrombie & Fitch HQ, a million years ago, the place was old and dull as an Upper East Side matron. In those days, Abercrombie was all about service for rich old people and teenagers were nowhere to be seen. Quite a contrast to the racy 280-page Christmas catalog they just pulled from stores because of hue and cry about the naked or nearly naked teenagers engaged in a sexual tangle on the cover.
From a PR point of view, despite conventional wisdom, there is such a thing as bad publicity. The company is publicly traded, and the stock is down 1.69%, leaving investors holding the bag. The company is embroiled in several discrimination suits accusing them of not hiring minorities. Yet the PR department apparently isn’t responsive to media requests. A Reuters story and several others noted “A spokesman for Abercrombie & Fitch could not be reached.” Not calling back major media is on the PR 101 list of top 10 things not to do.
According to Reuters a copy of the 2003 Christmas issue sold for $28.50 on the online auction site on Tuesday morning, and bidding was up to $42 — six times the cover price — on another copy. Among 53 sellers, the top asking price is now $150. Somehow, I don