02/19/2014 at 11:00 AM EST
One Utah mother used her purchasing power to let a chain store know one thing: that she was fed up with clothing merchandise that she says contained sexualized images marketed to teens.
Judy Cox of Orem, just south of Salt Lake City, spent $567 to buy out the entire stock of shirts at a PacSun store that she said featured "pornographic" images of scantily clad women in provocative poses, Provo's Daily Herald
reports. She also bought the displays that went along with the apparel.
The $27.50 shirts were displayed prominently in the store's front window inside the University Mall. But Cox, who was out shopping with her 18-year-old son on his birthday, felt they were inappropriate and confronted the store's manager over the line of "Visual" shirts that she contends violate the city's decency code.
"I had a conversation with the store manager," Cox told the Daily Herald
. "She said she did refuse to put the accompanying banner up with the display because it was much worse, but that she couldn't take down the T-shirts without talking to her corporate office, but the promo was over Wednesday anyway. She said she told them it might not go over well."
Cox also contacted mall management, noting that she felt they should have followed guidelines for lease agreements that don't allow things like nudity, vulgarities and other messaging that might go against community standards.
The mall's manager, Rob Kallas, however, said enforcing such measures was difficult. "This is hard to police because of freedom of speech," he reportedly said, noting he had taken the concerns to the store manager as well as the city attorney, who is reviewing the complaints for city code violations.
Cox is using her outrage to encourage others to complain, and her story has gone viral across the country.
As for the shirts, while Cox said she would like to simply destroy them, she'll actually do otherwise.
"I'll let their corporate office figure out what to do with them when I return them on day 59 of a 60-day return policy," she said.