Target: Richard Hayne, CEO of Urban Outfitters
Goal: Stop the sale of T-shirts that glorify underage drinking
Recently, Urban Outfitters began selling T-shirts with phrases supporting drinking, such as “I Drink You’re Cute,” and, “Misery Loves Alcohol.” As Urban Outfitters’ customers are mainly teenagers and young adults, selling these shirts to them is selling messages that promote drinking to minors and impressionable young adults. Many people have criticized the shirts, but the store has not responded to the criticism and continues to sell the offensive shirts.
Alcohol use among teenagers is rampant. A study of 9th grade girls—14 to 15 years old—showed that nearly half have had alcoholic drinks. Many people and organizations are trying to help bring these rates down, but shirts like the ones provided by Urban Outfitters are counteractive to these attempts. The phrases on the shirt glorify binge drinking and bad decisions made under the influence of alcohol.
The “I Drink You’re Cute” shirt has had particular scrutiny for its message that someone could take advantage of a young drunk girl—and this is supposedly a good thing. These messages can be dangerous to anyone, and are especially dangerous for those at a young age. According to the president of the organization, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, “Marketing [alcohol-related products] to teens is not in any way acceptable.”
Urban Outfitters has yet to respond to the criticism about the shirts. The store had sold other controversial and offensive clothes in the past that play on cultural and racial stereotypes. Similarly, these T-shirts show controversial stereotypes about drinking culture. The shirts portray a dangerous message and are marketed to a group that is legally too young to be drinking. Tell Urban Outfitters to stop selling these T-shirts immediately.
Dear Mr. Hayne,
Recently, a series of T-shirts has appeared on the Urban Outfitters website bearing phrases that seem to glorify drinking. These shirts are being sold to teenagers and young adults, not all of whom are legally allowed to drink. The slogans on the shirts show dangerous ideas in support of binge drinking and bad decisions made while under the influence of alcohol.
I ask you to stop selling these shirts. Glorifying alcohol use and selling this message to minors can be very dangerous. Rates of underage drinking are on the rise, and these shirts will only support that. Underage drinking leads to binge drinking, drunk driving, and increased high school dropout rates. By removing these T-shirts from the Urban Outfitters website and stores, you will be helping to stop underage drinking.
[Your Name Here]