American Apparel is in hot water over its ad touting a “Hurricane Sandy Sale.”
The retailer sent an email blast to customers Monday night offering a 20 percent discount for the next 36 hours “in case you’re bored during the storm.” The ad then featured a map that highlighted the northeastern part of the United States, where Hurricane Sandy was hitting the hardest.
The sale offer was available to customers of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. The ad then told customers to “Just Enter SANDYSALE at Checkout” to get the discount.
Internet users, especially those on Twitter, found the ad to be in poor taste, and blasted the retailer for its insensitivity. User Whitney Hess wrote, “I just received a “Hurricane Sandy Sale” email blast from @americanapparel. I will forever boycott their stores. RT if you’re with me.”
David Honig tweeted, “Really @americanapparel? Sandy Sale email blast? really? The lowest of low. RT this if you are insulted.” Honig attached a picture of the ad to his post.
American Apparel has yet to respond to the criticism about the ad. But it wasn’t the only company that attempted to use the hurricane as a marketing ploy. Urban Outfitters posted a similar ad that read, “This storm blows! But free shipping on all orders doesn’t! Today only! For one day only! Enter ALLSOGGY.”
Neither company is a stranger to controversy. They have been criticized for selling racist shirts or inappropriate shirts in the past, but apparently they have yet to learn their lesson. They are also not the first companies to use a major event to try and sell their product. Kenneth Cole received similar backlash when it tried to use the riots in Cairo to push their new spring line.