Matthew in Action



Promotional Product Strategy

PR - Shackled by Shackles

Recently Adidas pulled the launch of new shoes designed by fashion designer to the stars, Jeremy Scott called, “The Shackles”. The shoe caused outrage in some sections of the community who claimed the shoes celebrated slavery.

While I personally do not  believe this was Adidas or Jeremy Scott’s intention, it does highlight the sensitivities companies have to work within in the modern day world. As always, prevention is better than the cure, these faux paus can be minimised by:

1. Diversity Management - use diversified focus groups, brand checking companies, staff, and stakeholders to vet campaigns before launch

2. Have clearly stated and enforced company values - all stakeholders should know the boundaries they are to work within

Despite this, as some of the examples below show, it is increasingly likely you will offend someone at some time. When this happens and you are at fault:

Apologise from the top - the apology must come from the CEO - not a media manager. The apology must be authentic and quick.

Sunrise segment we did on the Adidas Shackles

Another segment from The Morning Show discussing Oprah’s Bad allegiances