If the United States is going to put “boots on the ground” in Syria they might as well use Kenneth Cole shoes. That, at least, is the gist of the fashion guru’s latest tweet.
“Boots on the ground” or not, let’s not forget about sandals, pumps and loafers. #Footwear
— Kenneth Cole (@KennethCole) September 5, 2013
Cole writes in his Twitter bio that his personal tweets don’t represent the company’s beliefs. Of course, when you share the same name as your company and you use your personal Twitter account to push products, people are going to have a hard time separating the two.
The Kenneth Cole tweet caused an outrage on Twitter as people accused Cole of using a potentially deadly situation to sell loafers.
It’s official…Kenneth Cole has the WORST comm PR team ever. Also, the worst decision-making skills https://t.co/1bWaHkjoS2 #prfail
— Amber Craig (@AmberCraig_) September 5, 2013
Cole has taken the classic “I wrote that to spark discussion” defense.
He released a statement today saying: “For 30 years I have used my platform in provocative ways to encourage a healthy dialogue about important issues, including HIV/AIDS, war, and homelessness. I’m well aware of the risks that come with this approach, and if this encourages further awareness and discussion about critical issues then all-the-better.”
So what issue are we supposed to be discussing? The role of footwear in World War III? The fashion style of dead soldiers?
@kennethcole tweeting his way onto the PR Blunders list for 2013
— Rich Robinson (@RobinsonFlash) September 5, 2013
Kenneth Cole’s tweet didn’t add anything of worth to an important discussion about international relations. It didn’t spark a “healthy dialogue about important issues.” It was an irrelevant voice screaming its way into important discussion.
Now, the Kenneth Cole tweet really wouldn’t have been that a big deal, after all, major personalities frequently stick their foots in their mouths on Twitter, but then he took that arrogant defense. “I sent out this tasteless message out to spark a meaningful conversation.”
Bullsh*t. You sent it out to promote loafers, create controversy, and turn international tensions into profit.
Now, maybe I’m a little too upset about this little tweet. After all, how much stupidity can truly be expressed in 140 characters. But here’s the thing: Kenneth Cole has done this before.
and IIRC, didn’t @kennethcole use the Arab Spring to promote his new shoe line? Keeping it classy
— Lauren Dane (@laurendane) September 5, 2013
In 2011, when Egypt was on the brink of revolution, Cole wrote: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.”
What do you think of the Kenneth Cole tweet? Does controversy equal sales?