H&M in Social-Media Scuffle Ahead of Its Super Bowl Spot

Brand accused of stealing a design

In the worst timing imaginable for H&M, the clothing store is trying to put out a fire in social media just days before it's set to air its first Super Bowl commercial ever. At issue is a collection of H&M products, including doormats, pillows and towels, that are emblazoned with the words "You look nice today," alongside a heart shape. Unfortunately, the whole design seems to have been lifted from a piece of art by Tori LaConsay, who painted the same words, in all but the same font, with the same heart, on a sign in her East Atlanta neighborhood back in 2008. People began congratulating LaConsay on selling her work to H&M—then deluged the company's Facebook page with hate when they realized it was unauthorized. At first, H&M said it was a coincidence. "We employ an independent team of over 100 designers. We can assure you that this design has not been influenced by your work and that no copyright has been infringed," it told LaConsay. Then, in response to the Facebook barrage, it backtracked and said it was "inspired" by her work to "create something similar in a different font" (all the while reportedly scrubbing its Facebook page clean of references to the incident). In the end, H&M deleted that Facebook post and is now claiming to be talking to her about a resolution. A messy situation to begin with, made worse by the company's boneheaded handling of it. H&M is hoping that a week and a half is enough time for people to forget about this before its David Beckham ad airs on the Super Bowl. I wouldn't count on it. Via Consumerist.