The Kenneth Cole Label Is Creating Another PR Nightmare For Itself On Twitter

Remember the Kenneth Cole PR fiasco when he tweeted about the uprising in Cairo last year, using the trending hashtag to promote his spring line? Well, Kenneth Cole label is at it again! At least this time the offending posts aren’t personally from KC . . . but will they hurt his company any less?

Kenneth Cole’s latest campaign, AWEARNESS, included this ad posted on a prominent billboard in New York:

Well, the Internet erupted in protest, with Gotham Schools and teacher-turned-activist, Sabrina Stevens, leading the charge. Thanks to both the story from Gotham and this petition, the Kenneth Cole Twitter account promised today to take the billboard down, claiming the billboard was misguided:

BUT, the website still displays the same question with a Facebook share widget asking visitors to vote on whether or not underperforming teachers should be protected. All while claiming to not intend to frame the conversation in a teacher vs. student scenario. (Note the ad says teachers’ rights vs. students’ rights.) Hmm.

And the Kenneth Cole Facebook page is still defending the promotion, despite the outcry:

The hashtag #boycottKennethCole is pretty active right now and will likely only pick up steam. Do you think they should take the ad down and stick to designing clothes, as many folks protesting this campaign suggest? Let us know what you think in the comments.
(Kenneth Cole photo from Shutterstock)

@MaryCLong Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.