This is the beauty of the marketplace: American Apparel can use its advertisements for clothes to advance a political agenda that urges us to dissolve our borders (which probably makes a wholesome change from the semi-pornographic ads it ran before) and I can refuse ever to buy these clothes, and urge all of you not to buy them either. Ms Magazine is also a good example of the marketplace concept: it can refuse to run an advertisement showing successful women in Israel (no doubt because it conflicts with the Leftist paradigm of Israel as the only backwards State in the Middle East), and it can be reviled across the internet — and, with luck, of its five remaining subscribers, one might be embarrassed and cancel her subscription.
On the subject of pornographic ads and clothes, there is an Abercrombie in my local mall. I grew up when Abercrombie was staid and preppy. My daughter, who desperately wants Abercrombie because the trendy girls in her school boast about it, grows up in an era when Abercrombie is sleazy and disgusting — if not in its clothes, than in its advertisements. Passing the store with her the other day, one could see in the entry way, visible to anyone passing by, a huge black and white photo of a young man with his pants down to his thighs, running away from a group of people who were chasing after him. I suspect that, on Madison Avenue (or its regional equivalent), they thought this showed young people running from convention and breaking free from conservative oppression. To me, it looked like nothing more than a young man trying to escape a gang rape. It is a very creepy picture, and I’m not going to take my children into a store with that kind of S-M porn on the walls.