Ooops. Bit of a PR disaster going on right now. On Friday I blogged about a T shirt with the offensive slogan “No + Rohypnol = yes”. There was outrage about it on Twitter and the company concerned received numerous complaints.
It seems that there has been a degree of damage limitation: one of those who complained has reported that he has received a written apology. I have not had a reply to my complaint but maybe it’s in the post. Anyway apparently the reply from the company, Chargrilled, says it does not endorse sexual violence, it has removed the T shirt in question from sale and it will be speaking to its product designers to make them aware that “this kind of message is unacceptable”.
Anyway, so far, so good. Someone at the company has had some PR training. However, the good done by that sensible piece of crisis management has been undone by an ill-judged tweet from one Charlie Shiner (Twitter handle @charlieshiner), who is believed to be the founder of the company.
Poor Mr Shiner was perhaps feeling a bit grumpy at being picked on about his T shirt, which he seems to regard as a bit of fun. Rather than leave it to the PR department to handle things, and either maintain a discreet silence or offer an intelligent, thoughtful response, as he should have done, Shiner chose to gob off on Twitter.
“Our T shirts are meant to amuse not to offend,” he wrote earlier today. “We are sorry if you don´t have a sense of humour. Get a life.”
Oops. Bad move. Someone in the company should really have sat on the unfortunate Shiner at this point and taped his hands together to prevent him accessing a computer. But they didn’t and things got much worse.
“Anyone out there who does not like my t-shirts, I really don’t care,” pronounced Shiner this afternoon. “You don’t have to buy them. They weren’t meant for ugly feminists.”
Ah, so they are meant for… other men who think that women are ugly feminists and that it’s OK to drug women in order to get laid?
Silly man. I feel he hasn’t heard the end of this.