Parents beware, for popular teen retailer Urban Outfitters is now in the business of handing out promotional hypodermic-needle-shaped pens to promote the “Hairroin” hair salon in New York City. Get it? “Hairroin”? HEROIN? Even worse is the fact that every pen has the words “I Love Haaroin” printed on it. This despite the fact that according to the Democrat & Chronicle, Governor Andrew Cuomo specifically said that New York “has a serious problem with heroin” that is growing and “getting worse.” And this despite the fact that promoting intravenous drug use isn’t exactly kosher with most American parents.
The irony is that it’s been only a year since public outrage forced Urban Outfitters to pull a line of shot glasses designed to look like prescription pill bottles:
Apparently, the folks behind the rather unorthodox brand are slow learners.
Regardless, Urban Outfitters is once again facing an onslaught of criticism.
“How can we teach kids to ‘just say no’ to drugs, when even their favorite store is sending the message that it’s ok to say yes?” commentator Megan Mayor opined on ModernMom.
Consumerist reader Frank concurs: “This is just too much. They pass these pens out to kids!”
Plus, promoting hypodermic needle-shaped pens also poses a risk to recovering addicts, as Dina Hashem noted on BlissTree:
“… [T]he news made me think of what a friend of mine, who had recovered from heroin addiction, told me. He explained that even after you’ve been rehabilitated, the desire for it never really leaves you. And surely enough, he relapsed. So if just the sight of a needle-shaped object could put the idea in someone’s head to get strung out again…”
Urban Outfitters will likely be forced to pull this product line sooner than later. Whether or not the geniuses behind the brand will finally learn their lesson remains to be seen, though the most probable answer is a big, fat “no”!
Keep in mind that Urban Outfitters is the same brand that has done all of the following:
- In 2003, it released a version of Monopoly called ‘Ghettopoly’.
- In 2006, it started promoting handgun-shaped Christmas ornaments in the violence-ridden city of Philadelphia.
- In 2008, it began selling a t-shirt that featured a Palestinian boy holding an AK over the word ‘Victimized.’
Clearly, Urban Outfitters isn’t as teen friendly as it purports to be, so if you are a parent, you might want to have the big Urban Outfitters talk with them!
[Image via Consumerist]