January 8th, 2018 – H&M is apologizing today after getting dragged over the coals for its use of a black child promoting a hoodie with the phrase “coolest monkey in the jungle.” The clothing retailer used the young boy’s photograph on the company’s online British store but quickly caught the attention of people across the globe.
Charles Blow, a New York Times columnist, was one of the first to challenge the ad by directly asking H&M on Twitter if they had lost their “damned minds.”
Throughout the night, neither the company or its Twitter handle had a comment on the status of their minds. The rest of Twitter, on the other hand, had plenty to say. The majority of users sharing the story were concerned by the fact that a retail giant like H&M didn’t see the problem during any moment in the decision-making process.
Someone at H&M thought it would be cool to have this adorable black kid wear a hoodie that says “coolest monkey in the jungle.” #dumbasshttps://t.co/gXUAz0nBiQ
In the year 2018 there’s no way brands/art directors can be this negligent and lack awareness. If look at other sweaters in same category they have white kids. We have to do better. pic.twitter.com/Av4bS4t6yn
So the white kid is the “survival expert” and the black kid’s “the coolest monkey in the jungle” yeah?! 2018 and we still have to bear this kind of non-sense, injustice & disrespect?! @hm please get yourself a reasonable, intelligent marketing manager ASAP!! ??♂️ #smhpic.twitter.com/HrzuIDhT5W
How many ppl were involved in the planning, shooting, editing and publication of that deplorable @hm photo? The names of the ppl who did this and who didn’t say anything to stop it should be publicized. There needs to be a punishment comparable to the embarassment of that child
The one-two punch of apology and removal has been a consistent trend for brands and companies who have made marketing mistakes. Last October, Dove had to offer multiple apologies after a Facebook ad they released showed a black woman appearing to transform into a white woman after using their body wash.
Do you think H&M’s apology was sufficient? Did you find the ad offensive? Vote and comment now…