Entries in JC Penney (5)


JCPenney Raises Ire With Another Gay-Friendly Ad

JCPenney Catalog(NEW YORK) -- JCPenney last year announced that Ellen DeGeneres, who is openly gay, would be its latest spokesperson. On Mother’s Day, it featured a lesbian couple in one of its ads. And now, just in time for Father’s Day, the retail chain has issued another print ad, this one with real-life couple Todd Koch and Cooper Smith, and their two young children.

The copy reads: “What makes Dad so cool? He’s the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver — all rolled into one. Or two.”

Once again, the ads have raised the ire of the conservative One Million Moms, that is again accusing JC Penney of promoting “sin” in its advertisements.”

“It’s obvious that JCP would rather take sides than remain neutral in the culture war,” OMM writes. “JCP will hear from the other side, so they need to hear from us as well. Our persistence will pay off! One day we will answer for our actions or lack of them. We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature.”

OMM has launched yet another boycott of JCPenney.

In an email to ABC News, JCPenney spokesman Joseph Thomas said, “In celebration of Father’s Day, we’re proud that our June book honors men from diverse backgrounds who all share the joy of fatherhood.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


JC Penney Features Same-Sex Couple in May Catalogue

(JC Penney)(NEW YORK) -- Fifteen years ago, when advertisers got wind that Ellen DeGeneres was going to “come out” on her popular sitcom show “Ellen,” some advertisers fled.

One of them was JC Penney.

Flash forward to one of their newest clothing ads in the May catalog. It features a real-life same-sex couple. The photograph is of two models identified as Wendi and Maggie holding their two daughters.

Both women appear to be wearing wedding bands.

Quietly, gradually and largely without protest, advertising is starting to reflect new attitudes and new realities about who we are.

“Our cultures change and I think the broader consumer and the spending power in the country has become more progressive,” Eric Bovim, CEO of the ad firm Gibraltar Associates said.

There are gay couples on prime-time television shows, and now gay couples are coming out of Madison Avenue’s closet, which, according to Bovim, gives way to a new target audience.

“I think companies that are successful in marketing nowadays are trying to appeal to a progressive customer,” Bovim said. “They understand that customers are looking for social values, community, visionary aspirations. These are things that they buy into.”

Another previously unseen group in advertisements that now is appearing more and more is interracial couples, reflecting the rising number of mixed-race marriages in the United States.

Advertisers are sending different subliminal messages.

“We are you. We know your struggle. We understand what you are going through,” Bovim said. “We understand what it is like to raise a family with one person. Same-sex families. Interracial families. We understand the challenges of 2012.”

The JC Penney ad has stirred some controversy. It was attacked by the conservative group One Million Moms for what the organization said was “taking sides” in the culture war.

When asked about the ad, JC Penney gave this statement:

“As JC Penney focuses on becoming America’s favorite store, we want to be a store for all Americans. In celebration of Mother’s Day, we’re proud that our May book honors women from diverse backgrounds who all share the heartwarming experience of motherhood.”

Bovim says the move was probably motivated as much by JC Penney’s difficult financial straits as by progressive.

“JC Penney’s customer was an endangered species. They’ve lost $3 billion in revenue in the last four years, so they need to find a new customer base, and the way they’ve gone about doing that is appeal to new demographics,” Bovim said.

To help appeal to that new demographic, JC Penney has a new celebrity spokesperson: Ellen DeGeneres.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Forever 21′s ‘Allergic to Algebra’ Shirt Draws Criticism

Robert Marquardt/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A Forever 21 shirt with the words “Allergic to Algebra” printed on the front is the latest shirt to draw criticism for its seemingly anti-education message for girls and teenagers.

One shopper posted a photo on, a social news website, of the shirt on a mannequin with a neon green note attached to it with the message: “SMART girls are cool. Don’t buy this top.”

Many comments on expressed disdain for the shirt.

“It’s a big deal because there is still this childish perception -- among females AND males -- that girls can’t do math,” wrote a commenter by the handle mikgyver. “I can’t tell you how many times, as a girl who’s good at math, that I’ve been accused of ‘trying to be a guy’ when I get good grades in math.”

Another commenter, called “kadhai” and self-identified as a “student of mathematics,” wrote, “I’m curious as to what the story behind this top is, and who thought it would be a good idea to put something so offensive as this on a shirt.”

“Our merchandise is intended to appeal to all audiences, not to offend them,” Linda Chang, a senior marketing manager for Forever 21, told ABC News in a statement. “We would like to apologize to our customers as our intent was not to discredit education and we are taking the proper actions necessary.”

The company told ABC News that it is pulling the shirt from its website.

The trendy Los Angeles-based retailer is popular among teenagers, and the shirt is being sold for $12.80. There were no shirts that alluded to education in the men’s section of the website.

And the algebra shirt isn’t the only one on the website that seems to be down on school.

One shirt blatantly declares “Skool sucks” and another shirt has a list on the front that reads: “A+=amazing, B=brilliant, C=cool, D=delightful, F=fabulous.” The website’s tagline for selling the shirt is “F doesn’t always mean fail!”

One shirt seemed promising with the message,”I heart school” emblazoned on the front, but a photo of the back reveals the rest of the message: “not…”

The “Allergic to Algebra” Forever 21 shirt follows a controversial and similarly themed shirt from JCPenney.

Less than two weeks ago, JCPenney pulled a shirt from its website that drew sharp criticism from consumers calling it “sexist.” The girls’ shirt read: “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me.”

After a petition was created to remove the shirt, the company obliged and apologized to its customers. “We want to apologize to our customers,” Ann Marie Bishop, a spokeswoman for JCPenney, told ABC News. “We agreed that the shirt does not deliver an appropriate message.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Retail Sales Show Positive Numbers

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Shoppersapparently braved bad weather in many parts of the country, as February sales for some big retailers are stronger than expected. Macy's, Saks, JC Penney, and Limited brands reported positive numbers.

In other economic news, American, US Airways, and other carriers are hiking fares again. Its the sixth time airlines have tried a broad increase, with this one aimed at covering high jet fuel prices. American Airlines is raising fares on domestic flights by $10 round trip. Several previous attempts at fare hikes have met resistance from discount airlines.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


JCPenney Offers High-Tech Shopping Experience

Photo Courtesy - PRNewswire/ JCPenney (PLANO, Texas) -- JCPenney has equipped 120 stores nationwide with high-tech fixtures to improve their in-store shopping experience.

The company installed what it has called "findmore" smart fixtures in select stores to help customers access information available at so they can more easily find what they are looking for. The company also plans to install the same concept using iPads in 50 fine jewelry departments nationwide.

“We’ve always seen the value of integrating the online and in-store shopping experience offering customers the opportunity to have access to a greater merchandise selection by offering access to online purchases in the stores,” said Tom Nealon, group executive vice president of JCPenney. “Offering an in-store digital experience that drives additional sales is a true differentiator for JCPenney, and continues to build on our leadership in the digital space as we merge our online and in-store shopping experiences.”

The "findmore" fixtures are 42-inch touch screens that gives users an interactive look at the store's merchandise availability and details.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio