In what could be a prime example of good-intentions-gone-wrong, American retailer, Sears, has been forced to pull a shirt from store shelves after public outcry over a design viewed by many as insensitive towards the 9/11 tragedy.
The design in question, released by surfwear brand, Gotcha, is a depiction of the Twin Towers with the word, Gotcha, printed on the bottom of the design. Twin Towers, the proximity to Sept. 11, and Gotcha? Whoah!
In a statement obtained by Fox4 in Kansas City, a Sears spokesman stated that, “The t-shirt is inappropriate and had not been in stores very long.” Sears also released a statement:
“We began removing this t-shirt from stores earlier in the week when the image was brought to our attention. We expect to have it removed from all stores as quickly as possible. We apologize for the oversight.”
The company, Gotcha, has not released a statement yet.
Gotcha has been around since the late 70’s and I personally dont think they meant to make this shirt to create controversey. I think they wanted to pay some level of commemoration by releasing this design and like any corporate brand, felt compelled to place their brand as prominently as possible. They may get a pass on this because their hearts were in the right place, but their execution fell short.
Let this be a lesson to anyone that cares about what the public thinks about their brand. Before you send that design to print, brush up on your history and make sure that you look at that design from the bigger picture. Chances are that you will offend someone, but at least you can weigh your risk and options and avoid the expense of being pulled from somebody’s shelf.