In what will undoubtedly become a hot contender for worst PR disaster of 2011, clothes maker Kenneth Cole has used the Egyptian protests to promote his spring collection.
In a message on Twitter, Kenneth Cole wrote that “Millions are in an uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online” and then included a link to their website promoting the collection.
In case you’ve been living in a cave, massive protests have erupted in Egypt in an attempt to overthrow the ruling dictatorship, and scores of people have been killed.
The web has naturally not taken Kenneth Cole’s tweet lightly, with calls to boycott the company and even a fake Twitter account mocking Cole, with tweets such as “Rolling through Germany? Gestapo by our new Berlin store!” and “Jeffrey Dahmer would have eaten up our spring collection!”
In a post to Facebook, Cole apologized for the gaffe, writing that “I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate.”
Might be a case of too little, too late.