The topic of bad PR is often actualized by a real-life event, and can easily kill your business and ruin your reputation. There are hundreds and hundreds of bad PR examples, including and fashion and clothing, cosmetics, food industry, social media, and many others. It is okay to have a bad day, really, but please be careful and don’t follow this path.
CLOTHING & FASHION BRANDS
In January 2018, the fast-fashion giant H & M released an image on its website of a young African-American child modeling a green sweatshirt that included the slogan “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle”. People were shocked, offended and embarrassed by that photo, so many twitter users have demanded the brand explain itself, and even called for consumers to boycott the brand. In November 2017, the company sold a T-shirt with the slogan “Unemployed”.
GUCCI released a disturbing jumper for $890, featuring a cut-out around the mouth outlined with thick red lips that was labeled “Blackface” that strongly resembles the lips seen on offensive blackface characters throughout history (mask or the Black Hood from Riverdale), and was presented to humiliate black people with hurtful stereotypes, as being uneducated and worthless. Gucci eventually released an apology and pulled the items from its website.
ZARA, one of the biggest fashion giants was accused of selling culturally and racially offensive products, like the children’s black and white striped T-shirt with a big yellow star over the heart, that almost looked like a Holocaust concentration camp uniform, or the ivory-colored tee with “White is the new black“ printed across the front.
The Boston Marathon is one of the most inspirational sporting events in the world, but some finishers of race have taken issue with a congratulatory email sent by ADIDAS, the sponsor for the 121st annual race which said: “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!”, among the fact that three people were killed, and more than 260 were injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. Adidas deeply apologized for their mistake.
UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON had many shocking campaigns such as dying AIDS patient, priest kissing a nun T-shirt, a Bosnian soldier, enemies, military cemetery with Star of David, ship with refugees, gunman with bone, oil-polluted duck, and child labor, which some of them caused many negative reactions, despite the claims of Luciano Benetton, who said that his idea of advertisement is not in order to provoke but to make people talk and develop consciousness.
The beauty brand DOVE posted a three-second video on its US Facebook page on Friday showing a black woman removing her top to reveal a smiling white woman underneath. It was criticized for giving a racist message.
Cosmetics LUSH made a campaign using a model whose face is divided into being a police officer in uniform and an undercover activist. It is captioned with the slogan: “Paid to lie” since numbers of women have had relationships with undercover police officers while remaining unaware they were adopting false identities. The company was heavily criticized as an anti-police campaign.
L’OREAL faced a backlash on social media after sacking one of its new influences Munroe Bergdorf, who had made comments in a Facebook post addressing racism and white supremacy. The company decided to end its contract with her – less than 48 hours after announcing the partnership.