Find us on Google+ My Sensible Cent: THE INSENSITIVE OPPORTUNISTS

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


For the last 48 hours or so, the east coast of USA has been hit by Hurricane Sandy. Life have been lost, homes, bridges and a lot of other infrastructure damaged. The damage estimates currently stands at $3 billion with no end of the hurricane in site. While all this is happening, some marketing executives at American Apparel saw this as a business opportunity. The retailer sent out an email blast Monday night, offering 20% off to customers for the next 36 hours “in case you’re bored during the storm.” It features a map highlighting the Northeastern United States, where Sandy — now categorized as a post-tropical cyclone — is hitting the hardest. The sale is only available in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland, according to the email. This received a lot of negative response on the social media platforms. One recipient of the email tweeted “Hey @americanapparel people have died and others are in need. Shut up about your #Sandy sale.”
This just underlines the company’s insensitivity to the situation. It will cost them a huge chunk of online retail shoppers unless they embark on a massive damage control campaign. By the time I wrote this, they still hadn’t responded to any tweets or issued a public statement about the matter. Marketing can be a double-edged sword and the cut is more severe when you are doing it online. What are some of your memorable online marketing gaffes that you have seen companies make over the years?

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