As we watch the terrifying coverage of Hurricane Sandy hitting the Northeast, here in North Carolina we are thanking our lucky stars that we managed to escape the worst of it. However, there is one aspect about natural disasters that is challenging to escape: the advertisements. Among all of the advertisements directed towards helping those in need, there is one in particular that stands out all on its own. American Apparel, a clothing company notorious for its no-holds-bar approach to promoting their company, sent out an email blast Monday morning in an attempt to draw in online shoppers who apparently would be “bored” in the storm. This callous disregard of the life-threatening conditions that people are facing quickly went viral.
Many people have taken to social media like Twitter and Facebook to voice their outrage at the lack of compassion American Apparel has shown for the victims of Sandy. Twitter users were quick to bring up the companies past marketing blunders including an attempt at a plus size model search.
Needless to say, American Apparel knows how to stir things up. This advertisement was poorly worded at best, and completely ignorant at worst. Regardless, everyone is talking about the “Sandy Sale.” Is this a bad thing for American Apparel in the long run? There is a popular saying in our culture that “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” Part of what our professor, Dr. Persuit, teaches us in Integrated Marketing Communication is how to be thoughtful consumers. In order to do this, the marketing strategies American Apparel employ should have an effect on whether or not we decide to purchase their product. A year from now while you are perusing the mall and finding the perfect piece to complete your closet, will it matter if it happens to be an American Apparel item? Will this advertisement even pop into your memory or will you merely remember hearing something about American Apparel once upon a time?