At the GCIC: Talbots Canceled ‘Inappropriate’ Fall Marketing

Naples, FL—Apparel cataloger/retailer The Talbots scrapped a fall marketing campaign this year in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, senior vice president of marketing and catalog development Andrea McKenna told attendees of a keynote luncheon here at the 2001 Gravure Catalog and Insert Council (GCIC) Conference. The conference runs Nov. 13-15.

The canceled campaign featured copy declaring “Fall feels wonderful”—a message that the company deemed inappropriate following Sept. 11. Talbots also did away with store signage reading “United Front”, in reference to women’s vests, for the same reason.

Founded in 1947, Talbots sent out its first catalog, a black-and-white production, to 2,000 recipients in 1948; now the company mails 29 issues a year with a total circulation of 58 million. Much of the company’s growth, McKenna said, resulted from brand extensions. Originally a purveyor of apparel for women, Talbots has expanded its product lines to include children’s clothing, specialty-size fashions, and shoes. The company will launch a men’s line through its catalogs next year.