Censorship

An Obvious Opening for Cracks About Cleavage

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Over the weekend, Virginia Beach police confiscated two posters from a local Abercrombie & Fitch outlet and charged the store's manager with violating a city obscenity ordinance by displaying them in a location open to minors. The ordinance, violation of which can be punished by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail, makes it a crime to "display for commercial purposes in a manner whereby juveniles may examine or peruse" a picture "which depicts nudity, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to juveniles." On Monday, a local TV station reports, police and City Attorney Les Lillie decided to drop the obscenity charges because "the displays were not technically obscene." You can judge for yourself whether the posters 1) depict nudity and 2) harm juveniles. Lillie decided police had probable cause to think so, although there was not enough evidence to prosecute. An Abercrombie & Fitch spokesman had this to say:

The marketing images in question show less skin than you see any summer day at the beach. And certainly less than the plumber working on your kitchen sink. This is an incredible over reaction by city officials that would be comical except for its potentially serious legal implications.

It's still at least little comical, I think, especially since Abercrombie & Fitch thrives on this sort of attention. In this case, though, the chain may not have gone far enough: The posters have been hanging in hundreds of stores across the country since mid-January, but the Virginia Beach outlet is the only one where the manager has been asked to take them down. In addition to citing complaints from customers, a police spokesman "said the ads made it difficult for police to enforce city dress codes, specifically noting teens who wore droopy jeans."

[via Celebstoner]

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  1. Where’s the bottom half of the first poster?

  2. Wow, the probable cause standard for obscenity has fallen mighty low.

    The picture on the top shows less skin than most televised shampoo ads.

  3. said the ads made it difficult for police to enforce city dress codes, specifically noting teens who wore droopy jeans

    City dress codes? I am so glad I moved the hell out of that neighborhood.

  4. Send in the SWAT team!

  5. Where is the Snorg ad?

  6. Move your friggin’ arm, honey. Move the arm!

  7. A&F should release a series of ads in places like this, where their nude-ish ads are banned, depicting local officials in brown uniforms.

    If they did that, I might stop thinking their clothes are gay…

  8. If they did that, I might stop thinking their clothes are gay…

    Their clothes aren’t gay. It’s that going in their store makes you gay.

  9. I am so, so proud of my home city.

  10. So the Virginia Beach donut eaters don’t have enough to do except flock to do the bidding of puritancial yentas?

    What are they paying taxes for, anyway?

  11. What? Nobody’s made an Abercrappy and Fag joke yet?

    For shame, Hit N’ Run, for shame.

  12. City dress codes… wow…

  13. City dress codes… wow…

    I’m completely against those wuth the exception of my proposed Burkas for Fat Chicks ordinance.

  14. What a disgrace that a respectable purveyor of guns and tents like Abercrombie & Fitch could become an outfitter of metrosexuals. Shame, America, shame!

  15. disgruntled, it could be worse. They could take after their neighbors next door in Chesapeake.

    This is why I moved to Norfolk, where all the police have time to do is investigate murders, and cite the occasional city councilman for having a yard full of garbage (seriously).

  16. J sub D,

    If the burqas were Vinyl, it might be a self-correcting problem.

  17. Vinyl burqas? I imagine there is porn of this.

  18. “Vinyl burqas”

    More like the name for a rock band.

    CB

  19. Virginia Beach cop to Coppertone girl: “I’ll get you my pretty. You and your mangy little dog too.”

  20. Warty,

    Scroll to the bottom of the page.

    Relatively SFW (no nudity, but it is a rubber fetish page)

  21. Vinyl burqas? I imagine there is porn of this.

    Warty — plenty of vinyl porn, no burqa porn at all. A niche marketing opportunity?

  22. SugarFree – The internet never fails to disgust me. Bird flu needs to hurry up and mutate.

    prolefeed – supposedly there’s a lot of “Muslim porn” in France, that’s centered around the taboo of taking off the burqa and headscarf and whatnot. I will hie to puretna.com and investigate.

  23. Law of Pan-Perversity

    Anything you can think of, no matter how disgusting, banal or obscure, somebody, somewhere, at some point, is sexually aroused by it.

    I formed this many years ago when I mused about the existence of someone who masturbates to Jolly Green Giant commercials.

    “Ho, ho, ho!”

    [nngh!]

  24. Law of Pan-Perversity

    See also Rule 34.

  25. “I formed this many years ago when I mused about the existence of someone who masturbates to Jolly Green Giant commercials.”

    Up yours!

  26. Rule 34 is a fine corollary. The Law of Pan Perversity of formulated before the Internet. It was an innocent time, when the wealth of pornography that exists was unknown to most.

  27. “So the Virginia Beach donut eaters don’t have enough to do except flock to do the bidding of puritancial yentas?”

    In 1975 the b*st*rds had better things to do. Like stopping cars doing 2, that’s right 2mph, over the speed limit. I am sure that patrolling a bit of road that at 11:00 on a Sunday night would have nothing but sailors on it had nothing to do with their decision to stop me. (General Booth Blvd between Oceana & Damneck Rd – it isn’t now, but it was the sticks in ’75) $100 plus for 2mph over was big deal when I was making something like $478 a month. I hate VA Beach!

  28. Lil Sprout always thought he had the bug guy all to himself. Poor deluded brassica.

  29. Anything you can think of, no matter how disgusting, banal or obscure, somebody, somewhere, at some point, is sexually aroused by it.

    I suspect Bill Belichik whacks off to the scene in Patton where George C Scott slaps the soldier with “battle fatigue.”
    Did I mention I’m not a fan?

  30. joe, I’m saving all my criticism of you for Festivus. Then I’m gonna really let you have it. If you’re lucky, I might even call you a turd.

  31. Doh! Wrong thread.

  32. That’s not one-third as awesome as this.

  33. Warty — plenty of vinyl porn, no burqa porn at all. A niche marketing opportunity?

    prolefeed, for your approval, burqa porn. Well, burqa cheesecake actually.

  34. That’s my sideboob

  35. MayorOmalleySuxs

    I was in Damneck in ’75 going to SPS-39 school. Used to be farm fields right outside the gate. Like you, I despised the local constabulary.

  36. I suspect Bill Belichik whacks off to the scene in Patton where George C Scott slaps the soldier with “battle fatigue.”

    Unlikely. I have it on good authority that Belichick yanks it to pictures of puppies drowning…

  37. Didn’t we have silly proposed legislation around the country trying to regulate baggy jeans and other clothing generating “butt-cleavage”?

    Seems to fall in the same lunacy area.

  38. In these days of declining municipal revenues and budget shortfalls, does anyone bother to ask the question: Is this a good use of tax dollars that go to pay for law enforcement?

  39. Do you suppose the same rubes who dreamt up and enforce this ordinance criticize, or make fun of, Iran for enforcing laws about burqas and such?

  40. shit j sub, I really thought it would be cheesecake, not porn so i clicked on it. in the middle of class.

    doh!

  41. shit j sub, I really thought it would be cheesecake, not porn so i clicked on it. in the middle of class.

    If I couldn’t surf for porn during class I’d never make it through the hour… hell, I probably never bother to go.

  42. nolan –
    Nude pictures don’t fit my definition of porn. Well, Hustler gynecological shots do, but not what I linked to. In retrospect, I should have put a NSFW warning on it.

    Sorry.

  43. The scandal here is that there’s such a thing as city dress code. Time for the ACLU or another civil-rights organization to bring a first amendment suit.

    -jcr

  44. VA Beach has become a mini nanny-state. There are even signs every block on atlantic ave reminding people not to curse:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/christopherdale/23860378/

  45. I should have put a NSFW warning on it.

    Or at least a NSFVB warning.

  46. Virginia is A MODEL NANNY STATE

    Happy Hour is NOW MANDATORY!!!

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