American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Staples and Gap Make the Naughty List

November 16, 2012 - 12:44 PM

Earns Gap

In this May 14, 2012 photo, shoppers walk by the GAP store at a shopping mall in Peabody, Mass. Gap Inc. announced Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, it is raising its outlook for the year after its third-quarter net income rose 60 percent from a year ago. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

(CNSNews.com) – The Liberty Council, a religious liberty group, has released the results of its 10th Annual Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign, a list of Naughty and Nice businesses according to whether they recognize the Christmas season.

On the Naughty list this year are 17 companies or brands: American Eagle, 77 Kids – a brand of American Eagle Inc., aerie – also an American Eagle brand, Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, Athleta – a Gap brand, Banana Republic, Garmin, EB Games, J. Crew Outfitters, Old Navy, Piperlime, Polo Ralph Lauren & Ralph Lauren, Radio Shack, Staples, Sprint, and the Tractor Supply Company.

All 17 companies received three Naughty symbols, which means they neglected the Christmas season or chose “a politically-correct or non-Christmas option over the Christmas holiday.”

American Eagle has been on the Naughty list for five years for “egregious disregard for ‘Christmas,’” the Liberty Council said. The AE website “profits off colors, sights, sounds and symbols of ‘Christmas’ yet remains exclusive of ‘Christmas.’” The entire website has been “purged of ‘Christmas’ references.

The website of American Eagle brand aerie features young models “in very, very skimpy lingerie,” according to the Liberty Council. A search for “Christmas” on the website of AE brand 77kids yielded no results. 77kids has been on the Naughty list since 2009 “because the subsidiaries of the American Eagle brand entices ‘Christmas’ shoppers through use of the sights, sounds and symbols of ‘Christmas’ yet offends the American majority Christian population by using winter scenes that dominate their advertising.”

Christmas was also missing from commercials and ads for Abercrombie & Fitch. A search of A&F’s website produced no references to Christmas, according to the Liberty Council. The same goes for the website of EB Games, and a search for Christmas revealed only 12 manufacturer-labeled Christmas products – five of which “associate the words nightmare and killing floor in their titles.”

As for Gap, despite a holidays pop up window on the home page, Christmas is not advertised in stores or in ads.

On the nice list are AC Moore Arts & Crafts, Belk, Best Buy, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, Cabela’s, Chick-Fil-A, Christmasplace.com, ComputerGear.com, Cracker Barrel, CVS Pharmacy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dillard’s, Disney.com, Dollar General, Eddie Bauer, Frontgate, Hallmark, Hobby Lobby Stores, Honeybaked Ham, JC Penney, Kmart, Kohl’s, Land’s End, Lehmans, Lifeway, L.L. Bean, Lowe’s, Martha Stewart, Menards, Michaels, Mrs. Fields Cookies,  Nieman Marcus, Sears, Stein Gardens and Gifts,  Target, ToysRUs, Walgreens, WallBuilders, and WalMart.

CVS Pharmacy is considered a 2011 Naughty & Nice success story. A “Visit Destination Christmas” link and “Destination Christmas” icon are found on the homepage of its website.

T.J. Maxx was considered neither Naughty nor Nice. Liberty Counsel noted “token mentions” of Christmas, but Christmas is “non-existent” on the company’s website. The word holiday replaces Christmas, for example, “Peek at Our Holiday Home Selection” and “Sparkle and Shine in Our Holiday Best.”

Nine of these companies received three Nice symbols, which means, “The Birth of Jesus is the focus of company advertising including celebration of His birth and life; and/or America’s rich Christian heritage; recognition of the Christmas season as opposed to the ‘holiday season;’ and/or Christmas may be prominently displayed on website banners; and/or printed advertisements with in-store signs and displays.”

Chick-fil-A, which received three Nice symbols, gives employees Sundays off to worship, rest, or spend time with family and friends. Its employees greet customers with “Merry Christmas” as Christmas carols, which reference God, Christ and the true meaning of Christmas, play throughout the store.

Another business with Christian-based principles topped the Nice list. The statement of purpose for Hobby Lobby stores is “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.” The website “offers shoppers the opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior and offers free Bibles.” Their print ad includes references to Christmas – “All Christmas Party…,” “All Christmas Décor,” “Christmas trees,” “Christmas Crafts” and “Christmas Light Sets.” Their 2011 Holiday messages include “God Who Gave Us Life Gave Us Liberty,” “Blessed is the Nation Whose God is the Lord Psalm 33:12.”

Two Nice symbols mean: “Retailer celebrates both Christmas and secular holidays. Company includes prominently displayed Christmas in-store and / or website banners, printed advertisements, signs and displays. Although other modern-day holidays may be inclusive, Christmas is the focal point of advertising.” Seventeen of these retailers earned that classification.

One Nice symbol means: “No mention of Birth of Christ. Retailer may offer one or two Christmas products, display an online banner or in-store sign that acknowledges Christmas; however the banner, sign or Christmas items compete with other secular holiday symbols. Consumers may have to ‘Search’ to locate ‘Christmas’-labeled items. Christmas symbols blend with other modern-day holiday symbols but primary focus is secular.” Sixteen retailers received one Nice symbol.