Cotton On learn a valuable lesson (hopefully…)

20 08 2009

cottononLast Friday saw another corporation being unable to ignore their customers voice online.

The popular clothing retailer, had launched a line of baby t-shirts branded on the front with highly offensive slogans. These ingenious (*note sarcasm please) one liners included:

“I’m a tits man”

“I’m living proof my mum is easy”

“They shake me”

Not surprisingly, these items did not go unnoticed by offended mothers, all of whom did not find the t-shirts “confident or edgy” – and took to the web to air their outrage.

Within hours of Mia Freedman’s post Cotton On – are you on CRACK?, twitter was alight with outraged comments using the stream #cottononaresick, other readers vowing to contact Cotton On directly by email, and finally with all major press outlets releasing the story.

By 4 p.m. the same Friday, the Australian reported that Cotton On had issued an apology as well as a promise to withdraw the line of t-shirts in question.

While Cotton On responded relatively quickly to the online furore – it is interesting however, that the retailer responded through the traditional media, and not through the online space where the fire had begun? Rebecca Camilleri also mentions this point in her post Too slow to Cotton On to social media.

Cotton On neglected to address the issue via their pre-existing Twitter account, or to have a representative respond onto the Mamamia blog directly. While the idea of being hung out to dry by the enraged public is not an attractive one, it is a missed opportunity to try and repair their customer relationships.

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3 responses

28 08 2009
Daniel

“Funny” t-shirts are just crass – full stop – let alone on kids. What are people thinking when they buy a shirt that says “Sex Instructor – 1st Lesson Free” and then walk around the shops?

28 08 2009
emmakatetyler

I definitely agree, a very niche customer indeed that is brave/stupid enough to walk around bearing a logo like that. What was Cotton On Kids honestly expecting? They weren’t selling crass t-shirts to adolescents or adults – but to the parents of these children!

12 12 2009
Unlililen

Cool issue, I didn’t thought it was going to be so amazing when I read your title with link!

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