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update on nancy upton and american apparel

It turns out Nancy Upton got flown out to visit American Apparel and their studios, as well as a photo shoot. She talks about it on her tumblr.

Except, she can’t really talk about the entire thing. She had video footage at some stage, but the PR person asked if they could approve any video posted first. That didn’t sit right with Nancy and it doesn’t sit right with me either.

I’ve heard stories about bloggers having what is effectively a ‘lock down’ on their blogs – if they talk about a company, any press has be positive, no shades of negativity allowed. I’ve even heard about fat fashion bloggers who aren’t allowed to wear (or promote!) any product they are wearing in photographs unless it is by the company they are hired for.

Hey, fair enough in some instances. But this stifling still doesn’t sit right with me. A gag order on opinions? A gag order on different clothing from different companies? Opinions that may be negative, yeah, but where is the line exactly?

I don’t know the laws in each state in regards to anti-defamation, so I can’t speak conclusively on them at all. I do believe that if people state something, they should be willing to back up their opinion. In the blogging world (especially in the growing plus-sized blogging world), it becomes extremely obvious to readers when a person is just a product for a company.

Upton was able to sit down with the marketing people at American Apparel and discuss her concerns with the way they marketed the Next Big Thing campaign (hint: badly). But it was like they wanted her to teach them about how to market to plus-sized women — and, from the excerpt from the email that was sent to Nancy, they didn’t appear to learn anything anyway. They wanted her to write a happy, positive response to the experience. Not bloody likely. This doesn’t instil any faith in the company at all. They had an opportunity to learn from their mistakes, listen to the consumer and grow as a company and they did … nothing.

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