10 Sleazy Moves by Everyday Companies
Dressed for excess
How could any story using the keyword "sleazy" not include American Apparel (APP)?
For those of you who might not regularly stock up on T-shirts and body stockings, this is the retailer whose print ads always look like Polaroids recovered from the shag-carpeted floor of a white van.
No single incident warrants the company's inclusion here. Think of this more as a lifetime achievement award.To be sure, there are some ways American Apparel deserves kudos -- its resistance to sweatshop labor, for example. But like the soulless stare of its barely legal models, the word that best describes this chain is "creepy," and the sleaze factor starts at the top. Founder and CEO Dov Charney has racked up a series of sexual harassment lawsuits and, infamously, thought it might be a good idea to visibly pleasure himself while being interviewed by a reporter for the now defunct Jane magazine. Hiring practices? They would make any decent HR professional's skin crawl. Leaked company memos reveal that job candidates must submit to taking a "well-lit, head-to-toe shot." These photos, and the attractiveness of the women in them, apparently play an important role in performance reviews. Those who qualify for a bonus are required to have their photos submitted as part of the review process.
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