Controversial Wrapping Paper - New York News

Would You Wrap Your Gifts In Wrapping Paper With Obscene Language On it?

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Philadelphia, PA -

So you're one of the few impressive people who've just about finished your holiday shopping, but you still need wrapping paper. We've got some options for you-- if you're not easily offended.

If you are, consider this fair warning before you read further.

'Tis the season for goodwill toward your fellow man, but you wouldn't necessarily know it viewing the wrapping paper options for sale inside Urban Outfitters, the nationwide retail chain headquartered in Philadelphia.

As pretty packages from Santa start to accumulate under your Christmas tree, gifts wrapped in that paper will surely get a second glance. One option says, "Merry Christmas bitches" in red and green.

It's the newest gimmick from Urban Outfitters, the nationwide retail chain based here in Philly, which knows just how to offend this time of year. "The Urban Outfitter customer would naturally find something like this to be provocative and compelling and interesting and youthful, maybe hip, maybe fun," explained Bill Gullan, the president of Finch Brands, a marketing company.

The retailer is also offering hot-pink wrapping paper with just one word, bitch, repeated again and again. Not what most men would use for their sweetheart's gift. "Absolutely not, no way," insisted Al Micali, a construction worker from Somerdale, NJ. "I would get slapped."

Why stop with wrapping paper? Why not photo albums with expletives right on the cover? Katie Malpezzi and Zina Sejdic gasped out loud when Fox 29 showed them an album with the word f**k on the front. "That's something college age," Malpezzi said. Sejdic wanted to know, "What memories would you put in there that you would say that?" Sheila Green, a grandmother from Northeast Philadelphia agreed. "I don't like that, no." When Fox 29 asked Green what she didn't like about it, she answered immediately, "The word."

"The backlash around something like this, the discussion of taste level or whatever around something like this might even appeal to the purchaser even more," Bill Gullan explained, "to know that there are people out there who don't like it, who find it offensive."

We of course requested an interview from Urban Outfitters, but the company turned us down. The bottom line-- it's all about the bottom line. If it's going to help create a buzz and get customers in the door to spend money, the retailer is going to take a chance selling controversial items.

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