MADD Disapproves Of Urban Outfitters’ Alcohol-Themed Shirts

Todd Rigney - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 8:41 p.m. ET

MADD, also known as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, aren’t too happy about the latest batch of T-shirts to hit the shelves at Urban Outfitters. The New York Daily News reports that the trendy clothing store recently launched a line of tops that feature alcohol-themed phrases, including “I Vote For Vodka” and “I Drink You’re Cute,” all of which are geared towards teenagers. Needless to say, quite a few people are of the belief that these shirts are inappropriate.

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Jan Withers, national president of MADD, doesn’t think the tops are amusing at all. Given that Withers’ 15-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver, it’s easy to understand why. “As a mother, these shirts are not acceptable for children under the age of 21,” she explained. “If they’re targeting that audience, then they’re sending the message that it’s cool to drink. We know of the dangers of underage drinking and the fact that it’s just downright illegal.”

According to Yahoo! Shine, Federal Trade Commission spokesperson Janet Evans explained that, while she doesn’t approve of the message the shirts are sending, the clothing is ultimately protected by laws which allow the promotion of branded merchandise.

Withers, meanwhile, thinks the shirts can be used to foster discussion about the effects that underage drinking has on teenagers. “Part of our mission at MADD is to prevent underage drinking and the research shows that the best way to combat this is to have an ongoing dialogue with our children,” she explained to Shine.

This isn’t the first time that Urban Outfitters has spurred controversy with its merchandise. In April, the Anti-Defamation League took issue with a line of shirts which featured the Star of David. According to the organization, the design was eerily reminiscent of the symbol the Nazis made Jews wear during World War II.

Do you think the latest shirts from Urban Outfitters are inappropriate for teenagers to wear?


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