Urban Outfitters has pulled prescription-themed products from its shelves, in response to an outcry from people concerned about marketing that winks at prescription drug addiction. Urban Outfitters was selling shot glasses and beer mugs that looked like prescription drug bottles with prescription instructions like, “Take one can by mouth, repeat until intoxicated. … Qty: As many as you can stomach.”
The Partnership at DrugFree.org mobilized online activists through a petition signed by almost 5,000 people. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and local poison centers also got involved through an open letter sent on June 10. The letter stressed the severity of the prescription drug epidemic, noting that local poison centers managed over 209,000 cases of painkiller abuse or misuse in 2011. About 15,000 Americans die each year from prescription painkiller overdoses.
Urban Outfitters eventually responded, acknowledging that some of its items may be “misinterpreted” by people who are not Urban Outfitters consumers: “As a result of this misinterpretation we are electing to discontinue these few styles from our current product offering.”