American Apparel, Gap Blasted for Hurricane Sandy Ad Fails

Stormy sales pitches get chilly reception

Clothing brands appear to have committed the biggest brand fails of Hurricane Sandy, with both American Apparel and Gap forgetting that death and loss make a poor springboard for promotional messaging. American Apparel sent out an email blast on Monday night offering 20 percent off to customers in nine Eastern states for the next 36 hours—"in case you're bored during the storm." ("Just Enter SANDYSALE at Checkout," the ad gleefully advised.) It was met uniformly with derision on Twitter. Somewhat less egregious, though still plenty tacky, was Gap's exhortation to people—within a single tweet—to stay safe during the storm and also maybe do a little shopping at Gap semi-apologized in a follow-up tweet. American Apparel has said nothing further.