During a major crisis like Hurricane Sandy, it's best for PR reps to keep quiet if they represent a company selling something frivolous like V-neck T-shirts. Unfortunately, not everyone has that kind of good sense. There's been a small treasure of social media fails since the storm hit last night. Most notably, American Apparel are taking serious criticism for sending out an advisory last night for a 26 hour storm sale special: 20 percent off in all states affected by Sandy. That means sales in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland.
But American Apparel isn't the only company taking criticism for capitalizing on Sandy in name of capitalism. The Gap, the chino-peddling bastion of innocence, got caught up in the storm and tweeted this:
Looks bad, right? The Gap at least realized the error of their ways and apologized:
To all impacted by #Sandy, stay safe. Our check-in and tweet earlier were only meant to remind all to keep safe and indoors.— Gap (@Gap) October 29, 2012
American Apparel? Still tweeting about Disco Pants. But they weren't the only hipster clothing retailer to take advantage of the storm's stranding everyone inside. Urban Outfitters offered free shipping Monday morning, attempting to capitalize on the college students stuck inside all day wasting time looking at those boots they've been watching:
Social media fails were hardly restricted to stores for young people. Sears tweeted this out Sunday evening:
It's a bit more tasteful than the other stores' mistakes, and it happened before Sandy hit landfall in the U.S. WebInkNow's David Meerman Scott actually praised their tweet as an example of "a legitimate tie and something that is valuable."
But the ultimate social media fail, in our humble opinion, comes from Groupon. The daily deal sent out for Midtown in New York this morning was for a restaurant called Dans Le Noir whose selling point is that they serve you a surprise meal in complete darkness. The Bad Deal wasn't very impressed with the offer. "With massive power outages throughout the region (including my apartment), suffice it to say we’ve had enough darkness in NYC," they write. Why would anyone buy for a Groupon for an experience most are getting at home for free?