H&M's Latest Apparel Controversy Reminds Us to Print Carefully
It's been a very bad press week for H&M, and all it took was one online advertisement selling a sweatshirt.
To sum up, the retailer was selling a hoodie on its U.K. online store that read "Coolest Monkey In The Jungle." The only problem is, the child they used to model the hoodie was black.
There were other children's sweatshirts in the collection, like one that read, "Hangrove Jungle Survival Expert," which were modeled by white children. As a result, people were up in arms about why on earth H&M would choose for the black model to don the monkey option.
As a result, celebrities like LeBron James and Sean Combs publicly denounced the company, according to USA Today. And, its celebrity partners The Weeknd and G-Eazy have ended their relationship with the company.
H&M has since pulled the item, while keeping the other two sweatshirts in the collection, and it has issued a statement about The Weeknd's response.
"We completely understand and agree with his reaction to the image," H&M said in a statement. "We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken and we also regret the actual print. We will continue the discussion with The Weeknd and his team separately."
The company also said it would "look into our internal routines to avoid such situations in the future."
There's definitely a lesson to be learned here. Before releasing any promotional apparel, you have to make sure your ad campaign has been thoroughly vetted, too. It's not just about whether or not the apparel could be offensive, it's also about the marketing efforts surrounding it.