Many customers of the clothing store Lands' End were outraged when they received an issue of GQ magazine featuring a nearly topless model on its cover. The issue came as a free gift with the school uniforms ordered from the clothing retailer.
Based in Wisconsin, Lands' End offers casual clothing for men, women and children. It also sells uniforms for a number of private schools across the country.
Lands' End and Conde Nast, GQ's publisher, have a yearlong deal, which includes the retailer sending one of Conde Nast's magazines to customers who spend over $100.
Sending out the men's magazine to customers wouldn't always be a problem, since oftentimes it features clothed celebrities on the cover, such as Kanye West in July.
However, the newest issue of the magazine features Emily Ratajkowski, probably best known as one of the women in Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" music video. She wears nothing but bikini bottoms and a strategically placed lei on the GQ cover.
Not to mention that she's either completely nude or wearing an itsy-bitsy bikini in photos inside the magazine, too. Needless to say, some customers were not happy. Just look at the comments on Lands' End's Facebook page.
Sue Skidnell Bauman wrote, "My 14-year-old son brought in the mail today & was quite disturbed & fascinated by a 'gift Lands End sent us -- a copy of GQ magazine with an absolutely OBSCENE cover!!!"
Daniella Goodman, who bought uniforms for her 10-year-old daughter from the company, wrote, "You can keep your pornographic 'bonus' to yourself!!!!"
On the other hand, there are are those who say that they don't see the problem with the magazine and that those complaining need to "grow up."
NBC's Natalie Morales brought up a interesting point, too: "If her son's a teenager, though, he probably had access."
A blogger for The American Conservative was tipped off by a reader who said Land's End sent customers an email apologizing for the "free gift." Part of that apology read: "We made a serious error and we are truly sorry for this unfortunate situation. It was never our intention to offend our customers who received this offer."
This deal between Lands' End and Conde Nast isn't the first of its kind.
The New York Times reports that the magazine industry is struggling, so publishers have gotten creative with ways to reach more potential subscribers.
In its apology, Lands' End said that it was removing all its customers who received the GQ magazine from that subscription list and will now send them Conde Nast Traveler magazines as a free gift instead.
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