An American Apparel ad for a “Hurricane Sandy Sale” has sparked backlash from the Twittersphere.
The clothing retailer sent out an email blast Monday night, offering 20% off to customers for the next 36 hours “in case you’re bored during the storm.”
It features a map highlighting the Northeastern United States, where Sandy — now categorized as a post-tropical cyclone — is hitting the hardest. The sale is only available in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland, according to the email.
The ad, which tells viewers to “Just Enter SANDYSALE at Checkout,” apparently targets online shoppers who are staying indoors to seek refuge from the storm. American Apparel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Online reaction to the ad has been overwhelmingly negative. Social media users, including those on Twitter, aired their grievances against American Apparel via the web:
I just received a “Hurricane Sandy sale” email blast from @americanapparel. I will forever boycott their stores. RT if you’re with me
— Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) October 30, 2012
As if sexualized ads and harassment lawsuits weren’t enough for a boycott, @americanapparel sent out a “hurricane Sandy sale” mail. Ugh.
— Leigh Honeywell (@hypatiadotca) October 30, 2012
— David Honig (@davehonig) October 30, 2012
— Buzz Bishop (@buzzbishop) October 30, 2012
— Christine Lu (@christinelu) October 30, 2012
American Apparel is just one of several companies that have committed online marketing faux pas. Last year, fashion designer Kenneth Cole’s Twitter account made light of the protests in Egypt by tweeting, “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.”
What do you think of American Apparel’s ad? Tell us in the comments below.