Saturday, 5 February 2011

Social Meania - In Defense of Kenneth Cole

Whenever someone uses the term #boycott I pay pretty close attention. So when I saw the #boycottkennethcole hashtag the other day I immediate wondered what was going on and clicked through.

What was I going to find? What kind of tweet could get people’s ire up so dramatically? I clicked through to see this:

Millions are in an uproar in Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at x URL
hum. Ok. A silly comment about a very serious issue….yes. Weird for the Kenneth Cole brand…yes . Inappropriate? Sure. But they posted an apology only 23 min later both on their Twitter and Facebook account and seemed genuinely regretful (As I am sure they are) about the misstep.

Having been a watcher of the tech sector for a while now, I’m used to seeing blogosphere pile ons. People get their ire up and next thing you know, it’s flame posts all over the place. It’s just that it’s usually the angry mean boy tech bloggers and honestly I have no patience with it.


As marketers we tell brands to risk being in Social Spaces. Be more current.


Well guess what. When you are twittering every day all day long, at some point you are going to make a HUMAN mistake.

If we want an environment of experimentation to exist, we have to have compassion when a mistake is made verses being a pack of wild vicious dogs really to pounce.

Maybe it’s because we don’t have to have the poor community manager right there in front of us teary eyed and apologetic. Maybe it’s the protective cloak of technology that allows us to throw rocks from behind a wall with a group of our friends.

Maybe that is the mean of Social Media where we bring out the worst in ourselves – if it is I say, shame on us.

And Kenneth Cole ….about your apology… I for one accept it.

update: one thing i will say - smarter posts are criticizing KC for the #hashtag and trying to join the #Egypt conversation from a reach perspective. Let's hope more than not saying something stupid in future, that KC never does that again bc that is far more unforgivable

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