Keara O'Neal vs GASP Jeans: Epic PR Fail
Keara O'Neal and Friends Chased out of GASP Jeans
When Keara O'Neal took her friends shopping for bridesmaid dresses on Melbourne's trendy Chapel Street, they stopped in at GASP Jeans, which markets something called "playful couture". It's expensive and
fugly fashion-forward clothing, apparently.
As O'Neal and her friends browsed, the retail assistant, identified as "Chris", seemed bored with how long they were taking, and began acting like Tyra Banks on America's Next Top Model. This is ideal behavior if hosting a reality show, but not if you're trying to sell dresses.
Keara O'Neal vs Matthew Chidgley: Round 1
Keara O'Neal sent a complaint to GASP over how she and her friends were treated as they shopped for her wedding saying that Chris made fun of her size and called her and her friends "a joke".
GASP regional manager Matthew Chidgley responded with what may be one of the bitchiest emails of the year. Matthew does not even question Keara's version of events, but sides with Chris in a most arrogant fashion. You can read the whole thing via the link below, but here's an excerpt from Chidgley confirmed to the Herald Sun was really his grammatically-suspect email:
Insofar as our employee goes; Similar to our product offerings, our employees are selected with a similar approach. Chris whom served you is a qualified stylist whom has a sixth sense for fashion, and Chris’s only problem is that he is too good at what he does, and as I am sure you are aware, people whom are talented, generally do not tolerate having their time wasted, which is the reason you were provoked to leave the store.
The Internet vs GASP Jeans
There's clearly a gap in perception here, but the gap lies between how Chidgley sees his store and his staff, and how the public sees his store and his staff.
The Twitter response has been on par with the Facebook response, as you can see below. Yes, this is a PR disaster for GASP Jeans, but one of its own making: that's the kind of PR disaster the web loves the most, which, in turn, fates this story to go viral.