|Statement of George A. Hacker
Director, Alcohol Policies Project
July 24, 1998
CSPI blasts Abercrombie and Fitch "Drinking 101" promotion
The Center for Science in the Public Interest condemns
Abercrombie & Fitch for the "drinking 101" promotion in its new quarterly
"Back to School" catalog. We urge the youth-oriented retailer instead to create
and enroll in another course, "Corporate Responsibility 101."
The Abercrombie & Fitch promotion callously
exploits a college drinking culture that is dangerously out of control. It creates yet
another obstacle for college administrators, parents and health professionals who are
struggling to change the culture of drinking on campuses across the nation.
College presidents agree that binge drinking is the
most serious problem on campus. By pushing potent drinks comprised of combinations of
distilled spirits (shooters), A&F sanctions dangerous drinking behavior. Colorful
drink names, such as those listed by A&F, (Brain Hemorrhage, Dirty Girl Scout Cookie,
Foreplay, and Sex on the Beach) make light of the risks related to heavy drinking.
In the past year there have been some 20 reported
deaths attributed to alcohol causes on U.S. college campuses. Researchers have found that 44% of
U.S. college students binge drink every two weeks. Of those, half binge drink three or
more times in a two-week period. Students who binge drink experience a greater number
of drinking-related problems, such as missing classes, falling behind in schoolwork, and
engaging in unplanned and unprotected sexual activity.
CSPI calls on A&F to retract its promotion, recall
the remaining copies of the catalog, and remove all references to the "drinking
101" promotion from its web-site. CSPI and others will be monitoring A&F's future
catalogs to insure that they will be more sensitive to the severity of alcohol problems on
college campuses. No more booze promotions.
|CSPI is a nonprofit
health-advocacy organization that focuses on alcoholic-beverage problems, nutrition, and
food safety. It is based in Washington, D.C., and is supported largely by more than one
million subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter and foundation grants. It
does not accept industry or government funding. CSPI led efforts to win passage of the law
requiring warning labels on alcoholic beverages and has publicized the nutritional content
of many popular restaurant foods.