Monday, May 18, 2015

Death By Twitter: Under Armour Edition

What's said ONLINE determines whats sold ON SHELVES.

There is no getting around this.  Earlier this month, I shared about the Budweiser fiasco when a social media storm forced the company to remove some of its offensive bottles from shelves everywhere.  This weekend, a new story with a similar framework broke; shelves are once again being rearranged due to a social media uprising.

Under Armour released this "Band of Ballers" t-shirt, depicting a silhouetted scene strikingly similar to iconic image of servicemen raising the US flag on Iwo Jima during WWII.  You might also recognize that scene as the basis for the US Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.  

Once word got out about this, Under Armour's Facebook and Twitter pages received an onslaught of negative reactions, shaming the company for comparing a true heroic moment such as Iwo Jima to a basketball moment.  

Pretty much immediately, Under Armour went into defense mode, pulling the t-shirt from shelves and marking it as "sold out" online.  Additionally, it posted this very well-worded apology on all social media accounts. 

When companies have such well-constructed responses to mini-crisis, you have to wonder why they didn't also have the foresight to see the crisis coming.

What do you think of the "Band of Ballers" shirt?  Do you find it offensive or are we simply in another PC-police situation?

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