Skip to comments.Va. Beach Police drop obscenity charges in Abercrombie & Fitch ads case
Posted on 02/05/2008 9:33:12 AM PST by doc30
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Monday, Virginia Beach Police dropped obscenity charges stemming from two poster advertisements for Abercrombie & Fitch at Lynnhaven Mall.
Police confiscated the ads Saturday, saying they violated the city's obscenity law because some of the models were partially nude. One showed a group of shirtless male models and one has his jeans low enough to show a part of his buttocks.
Police say they received several complaints about the ads and had met with local store officials, in which police informed them they were in violation of the code.
The window displays went up in 363 stores across the country in mid-January. A police spokesperson said the store in Lynnhaven Mall was told last week to take the ads down.
No other store in the country was asked to take down its ads.
Brendon Payne, the store manager, was issued a criminal citation on obscenity charges, that were later dropped. .
Police met with City Attorney Les Lillie Monday afternoon to screen the case. Deputy Police Chief Jim Cevera said by the end of the meeting, Lillie and police decided the displays were not technically obscene.
Virginia Beach city code says obscene material must be harmful to juveniles in order to be illegal, and Cevera said the display ads "did not quite rise to that level."
I don't think it's obscene. That's why the hire models, so they can show off their bodies," said Abercrombie shopper Ahmed Amin.
Father of three Chris Karbala disagreed.
"I think they're inappropriate," said Karbala. "I think the kids already have enough innuendos in advertising that they don't need anything more to feed on."
ABERCROMBIE & FITCH STATEMENT:
"The marketing images in question show less skin than you see any summer day at the beach. And certainly less than the plumber working on your kitchen sink. This is an incredible over reaction by city officials that would be comical except for its potentially serious legal implications. We will pursue our legal rights aggressively and fully expect to prevail." -- Tom Lennox, Vice President of Corporate Communications.
This isn't the first time Abercrombie & Fitch has been in the center of controversy.
In 2003, the clothing chain pulled its Christmas catalog, which featured nude models, after receiving boycott threats from a parents' group.
In 2002, Abercrombie & Fitch pulled a line of thongs from its shelves that were aimed at girls age 10 and under.
VA BEACH OBSCENITY LAW:
Sec. 22-31. Display of obscene materials at business establishments open to juveniles. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly display for commercial purposes in a manner whereby juveniles may examine or peruse:
(1) Any picture, photograph, drawing, sculpture, motion picture film or similar visual representation or image of a person or portion of the human body which depicts nudity, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to juveniles, or
(2) Any book, pamphlet, magazine or printed matter, however reproduced, or sound recording which contains any matter enumerated in paragraph (1) above, or explicit and detailed verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexual excitement, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse and which, taken as a whole, is harmful to juveniles.
(Code 1965, § 23-36; Ord. No. 1539, 6-24-85)
Will that A&F store need to hire extra help to serve their additional customers?
A society’s first line of defense is not the law but customs, traditions and moral values. These behavioral norms, mostly transmitted by example, word-of-mouth and religious teachings, represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience and trial and error. They include important thou-shalt-nots such as shalt not murder, shalt not steal, shalt not lie and cheat, but they also include all those courtesies one might call ladylike and gentlemanly conduct.
Policemen and laws can never replace these restraints on personal conduct. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. This failure to fully transmit value norms to subsequent generations represents another failing of the greatest generation.
- Walter Williams, Nov. 21, 2007
Don’t know about these pictures but I hate the atmosphere in the shopping malls in this area. Walk into the food court there are are GIANT banners of Victorias Secret models. Things must be 15’x30’ and give the place a nice cozy bordello ambiance.
These pictures from A&F are the same. Just using sex to sell you more crap you don’t need at a price 10x more than it should be.
Give me a break.
Wal-Mart has most of what I need regularly, even though it can also be a real zoo.
I also found (when I went to Nordstrom’s, as well as other stores) that the prices are directly proportional to the amount of open space in the store.
Walter Williams is a national treasure and one of the world’s truly great intellects.
The nation is blessed to have him among us.
If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump off after them?
I know. Ain't it grand?
Walter Williams should be the first black president.
The man is brilliant.
Your vagueness and trite comment does not allow for an appropriate response. I will say this based on what I posted:
The first pic appears to be a group of young friends running to a swimming hole and are about to go skinny dipping.
The second pic appears to be a group of young friends running from trouble after getting caught skinny dipping.
I find nothing obscene in either case, nor (I assume) would Mr. Rockwell, a man considered to be the quintessential expressionist of Americana in art.
If you do, then that is your prerogative, but one shared by very view, imho.
Trite but true.
How so? Would love to hear your opinion.
also found (when I went to Nordstroms, as well as other stores) that the prices are directly proportional to the amount of open space in the store.
I bought a suit at Nordstom’s one time for a wedding. NEVER AGAIN! It was a waste of money and spent way too much money on it. I hate that store! Overpriced snotty place to shop IMHO.
“I know. Ain’t it grand?”
not really, while they are beautiful if I want to see some skin like that I’d go to a strip club. The mall is supposed to be a family place and not one where all the guys stand around and leer at the panty clad murals.
IMO the real problem with the way A&F uses these kinds of pictures. The pictures themselves are not obscene but they are generally used in such a way as to titillate the viewer.
That is what the people object to. The sexualization of the children in these pictures.
I bought a pair of shoes at Nordstrom one time. They were fairly expensive. When I tried them on, I didn't feel as if they were really fitting properly--they seemed small. The salesman insisted that it was because the leather wasn't broken in, and once I wore them for a while, they'd fit fine.
I bought them and wore them a few times a week for about six months. At the end of six months, my feet were still killing me everytime I wore these shoes. So I took these shoes back to Nordstrom and I told the shoe salesman (different guy this time) what happened. He said "no problem" and brought me out a new pair of shoes, this time in a bigger size. He took my old pair, gave me the new shoes, and off I went.
Not many places would have taken back a pair of well-worn shoes that were six months old. But Nordstrom did. And that's why I buy my shoes there.
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