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Abercrombie & Fitch to Delete Drinking Article from Catalog

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Abercrombie & Fitch to Delete Drinking Article from Catalog
Posted at 11:11 p.m. PDT Wednesday, July 29, 1998

Associated Press

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio -- Abercrombie & Fitch is deleting a two-page "creative drinking" article from a clothing catalog for college students following an uproar complaining that it encouraged binge drinking.

The company said Wednesday that it will remove the article, titled "Drinking 101," from unsold copies of its most recent edition of A&F Quarterly, which focuses on students returning to college.

The article included a drinking game and recipes for drinks including the "Brain Hemorrhage" that students could substitute for the "standard beer binge."

Karolyn Nunnallee, the president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said she was pleased by the decision. She had called the catalog an abomination.

Earlier, the company failed to satisfy critics when it pulled the 215-page catalog from stores until a sticker could be affixed that said in part, "We don't want to lose anybody to thoughtlessness and stupidity. For some, part of college life includes partying and drinking -- be smart and be responsible."

Abercrombie & Fitch spokesman Lonnie Fogel said Wednesday that unsold magazines have been removed from the company's 160 stores. The article will be cut out with a knife and the magazines will be returned to the stores, he said.

"Our company does not support irresponsible or underage drinking and we want to make that clear to our customers and the general public," Michael Jeffries, Abercrombie & Fitch's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement issued by the company based in this Columbus suburb.

The company also said that when the fashion magazine has stories on alcohol in the future, it will urge readers to "be responsible, be 21, and don't ever drink and drive."

Anyone who received a copy of the magazine in the mail will be sent a post card that says the article appeared to some readers to encourage underage drinking or binge drinking.

"Under no circumstances does Abercrombie & Fitch support underage or binge drinking. Although it was not meant in a serious vein, we made a mistake in describing a 'drinking game' that could be interpreted as encouraging binge drinking," the postcard says.

"We're pleased that they're taking action at what truly was a mistake and doing something right. We commend them for what they're doing," Nunnallee said.

"For a catalog this popular to put out a message every American should adhere to is a big step to saving lives and preventing injures," she said.

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