Nov 21, 2008

I'm taking a stand against Levi Strauss

I am officially taking a stand against companies that are over-the-top socially irresponsible, and I'm starting with Levi Strauss. This company is creating deplorable and unacceptable commercials for our children and young people to watch -- and they are getting away with it because WE DO NOTHING. As parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, or anyone who cares about kids, it is time to take a stand. Your children and grandchildren are watching and being affected by these commercials. JOIN ME AND TELL THESE COMPANIES "THIS HAS GOT TO STOP". Our politicians aren't going to do this for us. For all you Obama-ites who said "YES WE CAN" a few weeks ago -- well, step up to the plate and actually do something! Obama isn't going to stop these companies from producing messages that have negative impact on our children and teenagers. This particular company, Levi Strauss, is putting out commercials that glorify casual sex and breaking and entering into a family's home. (A link to the commercial is in the letter below.) If you agree with me, I'm asking you to take a few minutes of your day and either call or write Levi Strauss & Co. and let them know that you don't like these commercials, and demand they be taken off the air. OUR CHILDREN ARE WORTH THE SMALL EFFORT THIS WILL TAKE!!! We are the grown-ups here. Our job is to protect our children. Our country is going to hell in a handbasket, and WE ARE LETTING IT HAPPEN! Our children deserve better. We need to show these kids WITH OUR ACTIONS that we actually care! They deserve our time and effort to make this a better world FOR them. It's time to stop complaining and DO SOMETHING! Please pass this on to others as much as you can. Let's truly get a letter-writing, phone-calling, email campaign against these commercials going. WE CAN DO THIS. We have a voice. We are the consumers! These companies cannot survive without US. You can contact Levi Strauss & Co. here:
Call: 1-877-524-7386 (Voice of the Consumer Line) Email: Write a Letter: See address below This is my letter to the CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., with a copy to the Chairman of the Board. Mr. John Anderson President and CEO 1155 Battery Street San Francisco, CA 94111 Dear Mr. Anderson, Yesterday a good part of my afternoon was spent comforting a neighbor whose house had been broken into in broad daylight by three teenagers, ages 17 and 18 years. I have no idea if you've ever had your home broken into, but it's a truly traumatic experience and takes years to put behind you and forget that horrendous feeling of someone invading your personal property and space. It literally takes years for you to feel safe in your own home again. This is America, Mr. Anderson. We all deserve to feel safe in our own homes! Later in the evening, I sat down to watch television and viewed a commercial from your company that left me absolutely stunned by its degree of social irresponsibility. It not only depicted casual sex between two young people, but also showed these same two young people breaking into someone else's home, laughing about it, and acting as if it was "no big deal". The commercial is overly sexual, inappropriate, and sends messages that no one in their right mind would want sent to our young people. Your company is known for it's support of HIV causes, and yet you are glorifying casual sex. Your company speaks of "responsible, progressive and accountable business practices" and yet shows two young people celebrating the act of breaking and entering into a family's home? What are you thinking?!?Just in case you don't know of the commercial of which I am referring, you can view it online here:

I went to your web site to find a name to address this letter, and also found this interesting paragraph in your 2007 Annual Report:

Great brands and business are built by consistently providing quality products and services and by earning the trust of consumers, customers, investors, employees and communities through responsible, progressive and accountable business practices. Moreover, as business leaders we have the obligation, both individually and collectively, to make our enterprise not only a source for economic wealth, but also a force for positive social change in the conduct of our business. This principle of responsible commercial success is embedded in our 155-year experience and continues to anchor how we operate today.

I also found this on your web page, listed under "Values":

Four core values are at the heart of Levi Strauss & Co.: Empathy, Originality, Integrity and Courage. These four values are linked.

Mr. Anderson, the "easy" way to show the community that Levi Strauss & Co. is "a force for positive social change" is to write a check. You can boast that you support HIV funding - and have someone in your finance department write a check. But it takes no personal commitment of any kind to write that check. The difficult way - and the only way that truly counts - is for your company's actions to match the words in that Annual Report, or, in this case, for your commercials to actually be based on what you define as your company's “core values”.

I implore you to get these repulsive and socially irresponsible commercials off our televisions, where children and teenagers view them, and replace them with commercials more in line with the "responsible business practices" you preach. As I tell my children, "Actions speak louder than words." Although the words on the Levi Strauss web page read "social responsibility", the actions through your commercials speak far louder.

I am posting this letter on my blog ( and any response from you or your company will be posted there as well. I am asking you publicly, Mr. Anderson, to change the socially irresponsible path your company has chosen to take through your commercials, and, instead, strive to show us those core values you say are at the heart of Levi Strauss & Co. Until that time, and most particularly during the Christmas gift-giving season, I will no longer purchase any Levi Strauss or Docker products for my family.

Most sincerely,

cc: T. Gary Rogers Chairman of the Board


Lucy said...

I wrote one. And I buy a lot of Levi. At least I did. I won't now.

chickchatmom said...

I think one of the things that is so important is that we stand together on this issue (and issues like this). The more people that make their voice heard - the more likely we can make a difference. At the very least, we set an example for others to stand up when it is time. And once you stand up, you'll never want to miss an opportunity to have your voice heard for things that really matter!

I'm a big proponent of women supporting women. That is one reason I like your blog site --it is a place to share information to make us more aware of what is going on. Sometimes as mothers and wives, we can get stuck in our own worlds.

Also, I think when writing letters to these companies, we should let them know that we haven't written them off. Let them know that once they change their advertising (etc.) we will happily support and buy from their companies.

Janet said...

Today I was unpleasantly surprised by the shocking Levi's add. My husband had just come in from teaching high school and saw it as well at 4 p.m. daytime viewing in Arizona. I immediately went on-line looked up the company and made a phone call, sent an email to them, to Fox News, and to all my friends and relatives. "Don't buy Levi!" My new battle cry. Just before turning off my computer I checked on-line for perhaps anyone else who shared my out-rage. Thank you! You are eloquent. Keep it up!!!
MJ in Arizona, December 2, 2008