Abercrombie and Fitch's ban on shirtless models is unacceptable. - The Best Online Debate Website | DebateIsland.com - Debate Anything The Best Online Debate Website | DebateIsland.com

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Abercrombie and Fitch's ban on shirtless models is unacceptable.
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Three years on since the American retail company Abercrombie & Fitch decided to ban shirtless models in favor of clothed models, but its popularity continues to decline in terms of shares, stocks, demographics, and popularity. According to them, shirtless models in advertisements and displays are examples of sexual marketing, and ridding them to replace with fully-clothed models would reinvigorate its image, thus entering its "new look".

However, the ban has a sharp negative impact on its shares and sales estimates. According to the company, it missed quarterly same-store sales estimates on Thursday, caused by continuous lower demand for its namesake line of apparel for teenagers and Hollister brand of surfwear. Moreover, it fell nearly 12 percent to $24 as sales. The Associated Press, meanwhile, argued that the company fell 17 percent in the second quarter, even as the teen retailer’s adjusted profit beat expectations, falling short of its Wall Street estimates. [1] [2]

Rachel Bergstein, said in her Forbes article, that the company "went from aspirational to out-of-touch." She also said, "Teenagers don’t want to look the same anymore -- they want to stand out on social media. Recently, the New Yorker declared that prep was over. Even that beachy, surf-kid look that Hollister once represented has evolved. Now, it’s overlaid with Coachella style: still the same short shorts, bikini tops and sandals, but with whimsical, attention grabbing touches like hats, fringe, beads, leather and lace. Abercrombie’s version of America doesn’t take into account how keen we all are now to express and define ourselves." [3]

Time agreed by saying that the company failed to win back shoppers because its shares tumbled nearly 21%, despite investing heavily in its online business and on remodeling stores, closing underperforming stores, hired designers from top brands to keep its trends fresh, and selling fewer of its once-popular logo-centric designs. [4]

Its website shows everything is still wrong with the brand. One particular argument proved it, "Ditching sexy, shirtless male models for a more down-to-earth image fits with what customers want — but it also meant giving up what made Abercrombie unique and instantly recognizable." [5]

The Punk Rock MBA's YouTube video, entitled "Why Abercrombie & Fitch failed + why they won't come back (marketing)", was published on July 9, 2018, and as of now, the video has 573 views, 59 likes, 3 dislikes, and 17 comments. Jupiter Stars said that the company was in "when it was cool for white people to "be white"... now the hip hop culture and being "thicc" and curvy has taken over." She also argued that their company was bound to fail.  J K agreed and said that as iconic as the brands once were, today's younger generation don't totally know, or didn't understand much about the way the brands used to be, other than the names, and perhaps his age group that polarized on A&F's current identity. citykris made a point and argued that the company made a terrible mistake when they stopped having male shirtless models, resulting in its great marketing and drew a lot of attention.

These proved into one conclusion: ditching shirtless models is a huge mistake for the company and it caused a ripple effect on its consumers. The company tried it, but failed to catch up with other teen retailers like Hollister, American Apparel, Calvin Klein, and others. Those are the facts that cannot be fabricated anymore.

  1. Live Poll

    Did Abercrombie & Fitch made the right decision to ban shirtless models?

    3 votes
    1. YES, "shirtless models" is way too sexualised for marketing and they did it great.
    2. NO, they took a step too far and gave up on its identity as a company.
    3. I am completely neutral to the matter.
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  • someone234someone234 631 Pts
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  • It is a bit strange to advertise clothes on shirtless models in the first place. Most people buying bottom clothes (aside from maybe beach shorts and the like) are interested in how those clothes will look along with the rest of their costume - few people buy jeans only to wear them shirtless on the streets of New York City.

    I do not quite buy the "sexualization" argument (there is nothing wrong with sexualization, especially if it increases sales), but I do support their decision - if not the reasoning behind them.
  • JohnChristianJohnChristian 18 Pts
    edited September 2018
    @MayCaesar Then support some evidence to prove that. What reasoning made you think about the decision? Furthermore, the CEO who made that marketing strategy of "shirtless models" worked and improved in those days, but now, it is going to collapse unless they overturn that ban.
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