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PR Disaster Alert: Urban Outiftters

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So, this is why you need SR (social relations). Urban Outfitters produced a t-shirt emblazoned with ‘eat less.’ Where do I begin with this? For starters, how did this even make production? Surely UO’s designs go through several rounds of inspection and approval before manufacture.

 

OK, so they got made, a mistake in itself. The y were available online, but have been withdrawn, however are still available in store. I think UO thought that this issue would disappear once store stock was eradicated, but they didn’t count on Sophia Bush (who plays Brooke Davis is One Tree Hill).

 

Now I love One Tree Hill, but I also love Urban Outfitters. However, I do not approve of the t-shirt or what it implies.  So I have decided that I will also boycott UO until they have made a full apology and donation to a charitable cause, as per Sophia’s request.

 

I don’t think UO anticipated a celebrity to get on board to fight against this brand, but the core values of social media marketing remain the same, that a company needs to be genuine and engage in extraordinary activities and product innovations. UO is a big, rich company. An apology and withdrawal before SB blogged about it would probably have curtailed this issue, but SB claims to have thousands of supporters, and I’m sure she does. Also, her blog posted has been picked up by at least two celebrity gossip blogs (Celebitchy and Dlisted), which has not only made her more relevant, but also propelled the issue further into the public domain.

 

I have not yet seen a response from Urban Outfitters. You might want to start fire-fighting soon, this isn’t going away any time soon. I doubt it’s peaked.

 

Links

Sophia Bush Blog Entry (book mark this one)

http://www.sophiabush.com/blog/?jid=3

 

Celebitchy (my fave gossip blog)

http://www.celebitchy.com/

 

Harsh but fun

http://www.dlisted.com/

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