5. Kenneth Cole's Tweet on Cairo
When: February 2011
Amidst social turmoil, political chaos, and human tragedy, Kenneth Cole used its widely followed Twitter to spread a message that couldn't wait for the bedlam in Cairo to subside and would surely better the violence that was occurring at the time. Just kidding! They exploited the travails in Egypt to let you know that their spring collection had just dropped.
The backlash was immediate, the tweet was soon deleted, and an apology was issued on the company's Facebook page that read "I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I've dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate. Kenneth Cole, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer."
This wasn't the first time Kenneth Cole had put his square-toed foot in his mouth. After 9/11, Cole told the NY Daily News "Important moments like this are a time to reflect... To remind us, sometimes, that it's not only important what you wear, but it's also important to be aware."