Retailer Kenneth Cole is known for his catchy slogans, but went a step too far in using the media attention surrounding the riots in Egypt to plug his spring collection. What's worse: It isn't the first time.
This morning, the shoe maven tweeted:
Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo -KC
Not only does the tweet make light of a very serious situation in which journalists have been attacked and many have been killed or injured, the tweet also seeks to take advantage of the "Cairo" hashtag, meaning the tweet would appear alongside actual on-the-scene reports from Cairo that many Twitter users are following with a more serious interest.
Those thinking some poor junior associate or intern might have been responsible for the errant tweet should note the Kenneth Cole twitter page's bio: "Thoughts that end in -KC are from me personally; others are behind the seams insights from my inspiring associates." Since this particular tweet ended in "KC," it would appear the mistake came straight from the chief himself.
A couple of hours later, Cole apologized for the initial remarks, tweeting: "Re Egypt tweet: we weren't intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment -KC"
What's especially interesting is that this isn't the first time Cole has gotten into hot water for taking advantage of a "historic moment" and making it into a PR moment. After the Hudson River plane crash in 2009, Cole managed to translate the event into an advertising gimmick on a billboard that read, "In tough times, some land on their feet (others on the Hudson)."
Cole even managed to make reference to the Spitzer scandal in 2008 with an ad he helped produce for Amfar that featured a condom and read, "Some prostitution rings are safer than others."
With respect to Cole's continued efforts to remain timely and relevant with his campaigns, he might want to stick to lighter fare going forward. In the wake of closing the brand's Rockefeller Center outpost (along with other locations nationwide), we'd wager there are other business affairs that could take priority.