Kenneth Cole in Trouble over Cairo Tweet
Kenneth Cole Cairo Tweet Sparks Web Anger
Kenneth Cole took advantage of the Egypt protests to push its latest clothes, tweeting, "Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now availalbe online at http://bit.ly/KCairo -KC"
The tweet was supposedly written by Kenneth Cole himself, if we take his profile at its word. The company was forced to respond after criticism mounted. Kenneth Cole deleted the tweet (but not before we--and plenty of others-- got a screenshot) and issued an apology:
Re Egypt tweet: we weren't intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment -KC
Kenneth Cole also apologized on the company's Facebook page, but the initial response is less than encouraging.
It didn't take long for a Kenneth Cole PR parody account to spring up on Twitter, posting tasteless puns on anything from Zsa Zsa Gabor's health problems to Natalee Holloway's disappearance. In just over an hour, Kenneth Cole PR gained over 1,700 followers.
Is there a marketing lesson to be learned from this? Yes. Kenneth Cole and others in the media and marketing industries not only suffer from a lack of tact, they suffer from a lack of historical knowledge and the ability to grasp that the situation in Egypt could get a hell of lot uglier than it is even at this moment.