This Bloomingdale’s Holiday Catalog Is Creeping People Out

Department stores' holiday catalogs are rarely controversial fare. Neiman Marcus peddling a romantic weekend of motorcycling up the California coast with Keanu Reeves for a cool $150k was the most titillating thing we'd seen in a glossy gift guide recently — until Bloomingdale's 2015 holiday catalog came along. The department store now officially has the most eyebrow-raising booklet of the season (sorry, Keanu) thanks to an image of a dapperly dressed guy and girl that's captioned: "Spike your best friend's eggnog when they're not looking." Bloomies spicing up its holiday gift suggestions with a splash of date rape hasn't been received too kindly. The image began making the rounds after being posted on Imgur yesterday, garnering quite a bit of ire on social media.
People took to Twitter to admonish the company for its cringeworthy copy, with a couple of Bill Cosby references thrown in the mix. Many pointed out the "rapey overtones," while one Twitter user called it a case of "when trying to be 'edgy' goes left." (Some even thought the ad was a spoof; "There is no way this can be real," another user tweeted.) Bloomingdale's promptly issued an apology: "In reflection of recent feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale's sincerely apologizes for this error in judgment." However, the contentious text can't exactly disappear, since it's in a print catalog (and thousands of copies are surely already en route to mailboxes everywhere). Between this and Target's "Obsessive Christmas Disorder" sweaters that make light of OCD, the holiday shopping scene seems to be a bit more incendiary than usual. Hopefully we've seen the last lapse of judgement for the season — not including any head-to-toe glittering numbers we might choose to buy for New Year's.

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