Hello Brand Reputation, please meet Crisis Management

Either sensitive, considerate and careful, or plain woke-washing

A brand should be sensitive, considerate and careful. And aware of the power of social media: even the smallest issue can quickly snowball into a PR crisis.

Kathlen Romeu, a pregnant 24 years old Afro-Brazilian, was killed by a stray bullet during a police shootout in her neighborhood north of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

👎 She was an influencer and employee of the Brazilian fashion brand Farm Rio, who promptly posted #JUSTIÇAPORKATHLEN stating any sale with her code would partly revert to support her family.

A post shared by @adorofarm

This quickly backlashed on social media, with accusations of self promoting and trying to profit from such a loss.

Risking woke-washing their positioning, the brand had to retreat and recognize the mistake, while many public figures also spoke out for the movement #BlackLivesMatter.

“We look at FARM with an awareness of our social role in reducing inequalities and we will continue to accelerate all our inclusion and equity programs. Now the time is for mourning and acceptance.”

A post shared by @adorofarm

👎 HM’s issued an apology for a poorly judged product and image where a black child was modelling a hooded top with the words “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.”

👎 Burberry 'apologised unreservedly' after mixing up BAFTA winner Dev Patel with rapper Riz Ahmed in embarrassing Twitter gaffe

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👎 More on woke-washing with cultural appropriation versus appreciation