British-based fast fashion brand Pretty Little Thing has been accused of “bad taste” and disrespecting 9/11 victims after a social media stunt backfired over the weekend.
Saturday was the 20th anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York that left close to 3000 people dead.
To commemorate the anniversary, Pretty Little Thing – whose core audience is young women under 30 – posted an image of the Towers to its Twitter and Instagram accounts with the words “Never Forget” and the date across it.
Seemingly innocuous enough, what attracted people’s ire was that the brand used its signature font and pink motif, leading many to suggest it was using the anniversary of the September 11 attacks as a misguided marketing opportunity that had “zero relevance” to the brand anyway.
One person wrote on Twitter: “What stage of capitalism have we reached when fast fashion brands are using tragedy and loss of life as marketing?”
Another added: “This is absolutely awful. Did nobody stop to consider that slapping your brand on a tragedy is a bad idea?”
“Blows my mind these multi million $$$ companies have entire teams to discuss and plan this and there’s still not a deciding member of staff to be like, ‘You know what? Nah, let’s not.'”
Pretty Little Thing is based in Manchester in the UK and recently appointed influencer and former Love Island contestant Molly-Mae Hague as its creative director.
Social media quickly pointed the finger of blame at Hague, although it’s unclear if the former TV star was involved in the creative.
One person posting: “What fresh capitalist hell is this? Oh wait. You have a new ‘cReATive DirEcToR’ and it shows.”
Another added: “Do companies have so little self awareness that they think this is acceptable?! Or that the event doesn’t have the same magnitude as it did?!”
“Rebrand the deadliest terror attack on American soil in peacetime to match your fast fashion company’s aesthetic,” Tweeted another.
Although some were a little more sympathetic. Another posting: “Welcome to 2021 where people on Twitter lose their shit over a text colour! Talk about reading too much into things.”
Another joked of the blunder: “Use the discount code ATROCITY for nine per cent off and the code ALQAEDA for a further 11 per cent off.”
For its part, Pretty Little Thing has not publicly commented on the criticism nor removed the offending posts.
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