That’s the sound of my forehead hitting the desk.

Standard

“Any press is good press,” right? Wrong.

I am sure someone will prove me wrong and post all sorts of graphs and figures and numbers that show that even when a company makes a really bad PR move or says something really, really stupid – numbers go up. And they may be right. But … there’s got to be more to it. And if there isn’t, there should be. At least, that’s how I’m going to play the game.

Kenneth Cole recently tweeted. Great, he’s using social media, he’s using hashtags, and from what anyone can tell, because he’s “signing” his posts, the posts may actually come from him. Doesn’t really make a difference to this particular incident, but at least it speaks to an attempt at authenticity, if not actual. There’s a personality behind the social media campaign. So far, so good.

But then, he tweets this:

And then my heart hurts. Sure, he made an apology and tweeted it and deleted it and posted the apology on his Facebook page (integration!) but even the apology was kind of a nightmare. First it said he didn’t mean to make light of the situation in Egypt, then it said that the joke was in poor taste, which implies that he did intend to make light of it and it’s just … It was a bonehead move.

I can’t boycott Kenneth Cole any more than I already do, in the sense that I don’t think I own anything by Kenneth Cole, so it’s not as if he lost me as a customer. But it was just an unsubtle reminder that there are real people behind any marketing campaign. And sometimes those people are really, really stupid.

Sometimes authenticity means letting the world realize you are kind of an idiot.

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