The web is abuzz this week about a French clothing retailer whose children’s catalog contained a photo of four cute tow-headed tykes on a beach. Far in the background, barely noticeable quite frankly, is the image of what appears to be a nude man wading in the ocean.
The company, La Redoute, has issued strenuous public apologies now that the photo is viral, acknowledging that the inclusion of a nude man was not intentional. Is this a PR nightmare?
Not really. The company has managed the situation as well as can be expected and has removed the photo from its web site.
Whether its international consumer base will forgive and continue to buy the company’s products depends largely on how they felt about the brand in the first place. If La Redoute is a destination for quality, affordable clothing and good customer service, it needn’t worry. Consumers have short memories and will forgive, maybe even feel sorry, for a brand it loves. They may even feel sorry for La Redoute and its current travails.
After all, many larger companies have committed greater offenses to the public health and well being with scarcely an apology or even sincere remorse. We’ll decline to name them here but we’re confident you can think of a few.
I personally love the holidays. I get time to spend with friends and family, the opportunity to exchange gifts, and have the ultimate excuse to eat dessert for pretty much every meal of the day. But as much as I love all of these things, holiday marketing often makes me feel like I’m stuck in the “It’s A Small World” ride at Disney World. As soon as one holiday ends, another begins. And the cycle starts earlier every year.
Even though we know how important this time of year is to brands and agencies alike, I couldn’t help but ask the DGC team to share its biggest holiday marketing pet peeves. Drum roll please…
Black Friday. The majority of us will never understand the ferocious need to camp outside Walmart overnight in the cold, but there are people who do it every year. We tend to think that the holidays should be about relaxing and being with family, not cramming hundreds of over-caffeinated shoppers into a room to instigate mayhem. Plus, there are better deals to be found online anyway – thank you, Cyber Monday.
Premature Holiday Cheer. Everyone knows that it snowed on Halloween weekend this year—and yes, the team reported seeing at least three people dressed up as Santa as a result—but that does not make it okay for Duane Reade to put Halloween candy and Chanukah/Christmas decorations on the store shelves at the same time. Halloween is in October. The holidays are in December. Let’s get excited for the holidays in December.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells. Look—We love Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” just as much as the next person, but unless we’re watching Love Actually, we do not want to hear that song until November 25 at the earliest. Can you imagine the people who have to work in retail around the holidays, listening to this stuff on loop every day? And this year it’s going to be Justin Bieber’s Christmas album. The horror.
Holiday marketing can be overwhelming, but it’s hard to stay a Grinch for long. Besides, who can say “bah humbug” to those holiday Gap commercials?
A Uniqlo pop-up store took up residence on Fifth Ave., between 21st and 22nd Streets, and a couple of our staffers went to check it out. The store was simple and spare, unlike the flagship Soho location, but it’s really just here to whet everyone’s appetite for the two new stores scheduled to open in Manhattan next month—on 34th St. and on 53rd St. Stuart Elliott wrote in The New York Times this week about the print, outdoor and online campaign Todd Waterbury created for Uniqlo. We don’t know about you, but we’re rooting for all retailers in Q4.