If brands needed a reminder that they can’t control everything people say about them online, they got one this week.
Activist and YouTube video director Greg Karber took clothing brand Abercrombie and Fitch to task in this video
posted to YouTube on Monday. In it, Karber responds to A&F chief executive Mike Jeffries’ comments that his brand’s clothes are for “the cool kids,” which the exec offered as an explanation for the brand’s lack of XL and XXL clothing for women:
Karber’s video was also a response to reports that Abercrombie and Fitch would “rather burn clothes than give them to poor people
,” destroying damaged items rather than have the homeless be seen wearing the brand name. In the last 30 seconds or so of the video, Karber travels to Los Angeles’ “skid row” to give Abercrombie and Fitch clothes he bought at Goodwill to homeless people. He does this while cracking jokes about A&F fans being douchebags and looking like date rapists.
In two days, the video has amassed nearly 1.5 million views, as well as coverage from news outlets including The Huffington Post
Karber also encourages viewers to donate their own Abercrombie and Fitch clothes to the homeless and then to tweet about it using the hashtag #fitchthehomeless. According to the hashtag measurement site hashtags.org
, #fitchthehomeless exploded Wednesday, with 3,000 tweets using the hashtag during the noon hour alone.
How has Abercrombie and Fitch responded? At least so far, it seems to be with silence. Its most recent tweet, from Monday, promotes men’s swim shorts
. Its last Facebook post
is essentially the same, though many of the 663 comments on it are pretty snarky.
One commenter asks, “Do they come in plus sizes?” Another says, “Too bad I’m not ‘cool’ to wear it.”
The company’s most recent press release
is about earnings.
Matt Wilson is a staff writer for Ragan.com.