Consumer Confidential: Abercrombie's situation, tobacco ad suit
--Abercrombie & Fitch may no longer be welcome at "Jersey Shore." The clothing company's stock price took a tumble after it offered the reality-show star Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino and other members of the program "substantial payment" if they stopped wearing Abercrombie-branded clothes. Abercrombie says: "We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino's association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans." The retailer says it has also "extended this offer to other members of the cast."
--Tobacco companies don't want people to know the grisliest consequences of smoking. Four of the five largest cigarette makers want a judge to put a stop to new graphic cigarette labels that include the sewn-up corpse of a smoker and pictures of diseased lungs, saying they unfairly urge adults to shun their legal products and will cost millions to produce. They also say the warnings violate their free speech rights. The companies say the warnings no longer simply convey facts to allow people to make a decision on whether to smoke. They instead force them to put government anti-smoking advocacy more prominently on their packs than their own brands. The Food and Drug Administration refused to comment, saying the agency does not discuss pending litigation.
--Heads up: Tens of thousands of tabletop feeding chairs for babies and toddlers are being recalled amid safety concerns. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says the "Metoo" clip-on chairs imported by Colorado-based phil&teds USA, can unexpectedly detach from a table, sending the chair and possibly the child in it plummeting to the floor. The company and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have received 19 reports of the chairs falling from table surfaces, including five reports with injuries. Two of the injuries involved pinched and cut fingers. The three other injuries involved bruising after a chair detached suddenly and a child struck the table or floor. About 54,000 of the chairs are being recalled.
-- David Lazarus
Photo: Tobacco companies have a message about cigarette warnings. Credit: AFP/Getty Images