Clothing retailer H&M published the above advertisement on their website recently, and the uproar has been deafening.
Why would they do this?
A mainstream distributor like H&M presumably has a vetting process for advertisement materials, a clear adminstrative structure that ensures mistakes like this don’t happen.
Stands to reason that the administrative structure is briefed on advertisements that represent the company.
So how in the world could a company that size select an African American child to promote a “coolest monkey in the jungle” t shirt?
How could something so potentially offensive ever see the light of day, this situation represents a collosal laspe in judgement or protcol.
Take your pick.
Take make matters worse, the company produced an apology that will do nothing to quell the backlash.
“We understand that many people are upset about the image. We, who work at H&M, can only agree. We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print. Therefore, we have not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering globally.
It is obvious that our routines have not been followed properly. This is without any doubt. We will thoroughly investigate why this happened to prevent this type of mistake from happening again.”
This apology would carry more water if the promotion was not still active in other countries.
The time and thought that went into the apology far exceeds the consideration that surrounded the decision to use a black child for a monkey t shirt promotion.