The radio show was going to originally ignore this topic. Last month Kitson, http://www.shopkitson.com/ “a fashion boutique for the stars” and relatively small retail chain in California began selling t-shirts that reflected a sports look with large numbers on the back. Above the numbers were the names “Adderall, Vicodin or Xanax”.
My first inclination was a marketing team at Kitson that did not understand the ramifications of attempting to sell the t-shirts. However, what impact could a small chain have on the drug epidemic in North America by selling a few inappropriate t-shirts?
Kitson quickly received national attention. Most notably, a Today Show host told her viewers to not shop Kitson until they remove the t-shirts. Kitson, in part fired back, “The t-shirts are simply a mirror of what is occurring in our culture”. http://www.tboblogs.com/index.php/news/story/kitson-responds-to-bondis-letter/
The Attorney Generals from three states in which Kitson doesn’t even have stores also got publicly involved. Kitson’s reply to the AG’s was admirable. In part: Kitson indicated the t-shirts should open up dialogue between parents and children and why aren’t the Attorney Generals concerned with the sixteen hours of prescription drug commercials available to children weekly?
Kitson has offered to give proceeds to the Drug Abuse Project which is sponsored by Partnership@drugfree.org. Partnership has smugly refused the offer of donations from Kitson.
Partnership has no issues with apparently accepting sponsorship money from a number of narcotic manufacturers, but they self-righteously refused to accept money from Kitson who has offered to help start a discussion for many families concerning substance misuse.
Kitson’s public response is to be admired. They said “families need to talk”. The t-shirts open up needed discussions between parents and children.
The actress Kirsten Johnson created attention with her public outcry claiming that Kitson is irresponsible to be selling the t-shirts. This radio show has great respect for Kirsten Johnson and I hope she will take Kitson’s challenge to help create better dialogue about the role prescription drugs are playing in our communities.
The radio show has no desire to surmise the motivation behind Kitson’s decision to sell the t-shirts. They may have thought they were cute, sincerely wanted to make a social statement, or simply wanted to make a quick buck.
The original Kitson decision is immaterial. I admire the response Kitson has given by not backing down to the powers that want to maintain the drug epidemic with “business as usual”.