How NOT to deal with a PR crisis: call complainants ‘ugly feminists’ & tell them ‘get a life’


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.

See https://fwords.co.uk/2011/10/07/another-day-another-offensive-t-shirt-for-thugs-%E2%80%93-and-this-time-it%E2%80%99s-about-how-rape-is-fun/

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.

97 thoughts on “How NOT to deal with a PR crisis: call complainants ‘ugly feminists’ & tell them ‘get a life’

    1. Sue Fenton says:

      I’m not sure the assertion made by the garment you refer to would stand up to statistical analysis. I think you’ll find most women would consider themselves to be feminists to a greater or lesser degree. There’s no direct correlation between feminism and homosexuality, any more than there is between femininity and heterosexuality.
      Oh, and I look rather good in red, as it happens.

  1. Benji says:

    I can see why you are ‘freelance’. This blog entry is without doubt the most unimportant issues in the world today. Congratulations on a pathetic attempt to discredit one of Britain’s great entrepreneurs. This piece of work will be a fine addition to an awful portfolio keeping you from real employment.

    1. NatF says:

      *dies laughing*

      OK, I’m definitely calling ‘sockpuppet’ on this one. Hey Charlie, how come you took the link of your Facebook page by the way?

    2. louie says:

      i dont feel any men here hate women, its women that are full of self importance that feel they need to push their views on every one else that are the problem. Do you not have anything better to do in your sad existence you call “life” than try and destroy other peoples businesses?

    3. Elizabeth says:

      It’s extraordinary how so many angry people (men?) are also so poor at spelling and grammar. Perhaps that’s why they’re angry? Sad and scary, really.

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