Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries Tries To Make Up For ‘Cool And Popular Kids’ Controversy With Anti-Bullying Campaign
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Abercrombie & Fitch has launched an anti-bullying campaign in an attempt to rebound from CEO Mike Jeffries’ comments that the brand is “exclusive” and targets “the cool and popular kids.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that Abercrombie & Fitch has said it will provided college scholarships, through the National Society of High School Scholars Foundation, to young people who have overcome bullying to succeed academically.
Brand Channel reports that the scholarships will be given out beginning in 2014 by an advisory committee including Dr. Joel Haber, an anti-bullying expert who advised the 2012 school bullying documentary, “Bully.”
"We've listened to the conversations and heard the message and, as a company, look forward to increasing our commitment to anti-bullying efforts," Jeffries said in the release.
"We are fully committed to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion—one in which no young person should ever feel intimidated, especially at school, whether for the clothes they wear, or because someone perceives them as different."
Abercrombie & Fitch will also support an anti-bullying speaking tour.
The current backlash against Abercrombie & Fitch began when the company refused to carry sizes about a Large for women, despite carrying sizes up to XXL for men. The outrage brought back Jeffries’ comments in a 2006 interview.
"In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids," Jeffries said.
"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?" he said. "Absolutely."
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Jun 14, 2013 02:35 PM EDT