American Apparel might adhere to a "Made in U.S.A" business model, but the company forgot some intrinsic American values when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast on Monday.
|Scooped by Bre Rogy|
In November of 2012, disaster struck our country in the form of Hurricane Sandy. Nine states were affected by the tragedy and that part of the country was, no doubt, in a state of devastation. This sounds like the perfect time to release a campaign promoting a sale for your company right? Maybe not. Well apparently American Apparel thought the timing was perfect. They chose to capitalize on the effects of Hurricane Sandy by hosting a “SANDY SALE.” The promoted the sale in a tweet that stated, “In case you’re bored during the storm, just enter SANDYSALE at Checkout.” Not only was this extremely unethical in the terms of using a natural disaster for means of corporate gain, it also belittled the severity of the storm and made it sound like your average thunderstorm, which was quite obviously not the case.
When asked to comment, CEO Dov Charney came forward and, to the surprise of many, stated that he saw nothing wrong with the way his marketing team chose to go about their campaign. He talked about how in the corporate world companies must do whatever is necessary to stay afloat and boasted about the fact that the campaign did cause traffic and revenue for the company. He ended is statement by saying, “We’re here to sell clothing. I’m sleeping well at night knowing this was not a serious matter.” Another representative came forward the next day with a slightly softer spirit stating that the company would “never mean to offend anyone” and that the campaign “came from a good place,” a week attempt at utilizing Beniot’s strategy of Good Intentions.
Throughout his statement he attempts to use Beniot’s strategies of Bolstering and Minimization. He preaches on the fact that American Apparel is a Made in USA brand and that they were simply seeking out ways to keep the company moving for the sake of its employees and stockholders. He also attempted to use minimization by stating that the issue really was not as big of a deal as everyone else was making it out to be and that he essentially was not sympathetic to the company’s actions because he did not see this as a “serious matter.”
Many angry customers took to twitter in protest but the angry tweets were still not enough to make the CEO see the error in the company’s ways.
Unfortunately, the corporate world is a dog-eat-dog environment and companies must attempt to always be a step ahead of their competition. Many times companies get too caught up in getting the sales that they overlook the bigger picture and the people they are affecting with the strategies.