abercrombie & fitch

a weather feature that was ironically shot a day after a manager at the local A&F received obscenity charges due to an advertisement that was deemed offensive by a few mall patrons, see:

Abercrombie & Fitch obscenity charge dropped

By Tom Chivers
Last Updated: 2:36am GMT 07/02/2008

Police in Virginia, USA, have dropped obscenity charges against the manager of an Abercrombie & Fitch clothes shop just days after they were originally brought, The New York Times reports.

Obscenity charges against Abercrombie & Fitch have been dropped by Virginia prosecutors

Customers had complained about a display of two photos portraying scantily-clad men and a woman in the shop in Lynnhaven Mall.

The two men were shown topless and with the top of one's buttocks on display, while the woman's right breast was "mostly exposed", the Times said.

Abercrombie management had ignored warnings to take the photos down, and police were eventually called to confiscate the images.

However, prosecutors said that they were unable to bring a case.

Deputy City Attorney Mark Stiles said that, while the images might be technically in breach of the nudity section of the city's local code, they were in line with the other standards upheld by the law. For prosecution the images would have to appeal to "prurient interests", lack any redeeming artistic merit and be offensive to "prevailing community standards".

The company defended the images, saying people could see more skin on "a summer day at the beach"

Abercrombie and Fitch have defended the images. In a statement reported by Ohio-based TV news agency 10TV, they said that the images showed less skin than most people would see on "any summer day at the beach."

"And certainly less than the plumber working on your kitchen sink. This is an incredible overreaction by city officials that would be comical except for its potentially serious legal implications," the statement went on, promising to pursue legal options "aggressively".

Mr Stiles said that the police had acted in good faith, and hinted that the firm may have courted controversy for publicity purposes.

"So Abercrombie and Fitch, part of their marketing plans is to get as close to the line as they can get and then make it a judgement call for the officer on the street. I think that's what's happened here," he said.

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in case you're wondering, my photograph of the couple on the beach never saw the light of day in newsprint. art imitates life or life imitates art?