Target: American Apparel
Goal: Apologize for exploiting Hurricane Sandy in new ad campaign
Recently, Hurricane Sandy devastated the eastern shore of the United States. Many people have donated time and effort to help the victims of the hurricane, but executives at the clothing company American Apparel had a different reaction to the disaster. As the hurricane struck, the company emailed customers advertising a sale only in the affected areas. It is disgraceful that a company would use such a terrible disaster to turn a profit.
Hurricane Sandy was predicted to be one of the worst storms in recent history. Many people lost their homes or the lives of loved ones in the storm. American Apparel sent this email to customers just as the storm would hit, advertising 20% off only during the hurricane “in case you’re bored during the storm.” Those who were able to receive the email as the sale was going on were inside to seek refuge from the weather, not to shop online. The company should have realized that this was a harrowing and devastating time for the victims, and exploiting it for advertising was not appreciated.
American Apparel purposely targeted hurricane victims with this sale. The ad showed a map with the valid states in red, which were the same states expected to be hit by the hurricane. The sale only lasted 36 hours, which was the expected length of the storm. The sale purposely targeted victims who were already afraid of the storm and reminded them of the disaster with this tasteless ad. American Apparel must apologize to their customers for exploiting a disaster that affected millions of people and offensively using it for profit.
Dear American Apparel,
Recently, you released an advertisement for a sale during Hurricane Sandy. The sale was specifically targeted towards victims of the storm, many of whom were in shelters or evacuated from their homes in preparation of the devastating weather. The sale was an insensitive gimmick that exploited this disaster to make a profit for your company. It offended many victims and refuses to recognize how destructive to many lives Hurricane Sandy was.
I ask you to apologize to your customers for the insensitive ad. Hurricane Sandy was a truly devastating storm, and the victims of the storm need aid, not clothing sales. In releasing this ad, you did not take into account the fear that many people felt before and during the storm. Instead, you made light of a very serious situation that harmed many people. Apologize for this ad and recognize that Hurricane Sandy was a serious and devastating disaster.
[Your Name Here]