Just another social media fail of the century

Just another social media fail of the century

Just another social media fail of the century

American Apparel in social media storm as it mistakes Space Shuttle explosion for “clouds or fireworks”.

Back in 1986, the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger just 73 seconds after lift-off provided one of the most distressing images of the late 20th century.

That image has now been misused in a social media fail by US clothing company American Apparel. A member of American Apparel’s social media team uploaded the image of the disintegrating shuttle to the brand’s Tumblr blog, probably as some sort of tie-in with America’s 4th of July festivities.

#Smoke and #Clouds

The Tumblr post was tagged “#Smoke” and “#Clouds”. It has since been deleted, but screenshots taken by Tumblr users are still available. Here’s an image of the deleted post, from Adam Davis:

Challenger tragedy - American Apparel in terrible PR fail

The company issued an apology on Twitter

We deeply apologize for today’s Tumblr post… The image was re-blogged in error by one of our international social media employees who was born after the tragedy and was unaware of the event

social media fail of the century

American Apparel has a history of public relations blunders: Don’t piggy back ride on natural disaster

Short URL & title:
Just another social media fail of the century — https://www.torbenrick.eu/t/r/nwr
Share it:
If you enjoyed this article, please take 5 seconds to share it on your social network. Thanks!

About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Blog Comments

This was almost certainly a mistake as the company suggested, but the vitriol it caused is a reflection on the parlous state of the American Apparel brand. In their case, it was a drip-drip of bad taste and over expansion that has led the company badly astray.

Waw thats a big fail…No one thought at tumblr that this would be a bad idea? SHAME!SHAME!SHAME!

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly

Related Post

Brand missteps in the social media spotlight - Destroy brand trust at the speed of light
Posted by Torben Rick | April 13, 2017
Brand missteps in the social media spotlight – Destroy brand trust at the speed of light
Destroy brand trust at the speed of light. When will companies realize that everyone now has a video camera on them, and that they can broadcast live on Facebook and...
Engaging with customers on twitter can lead to shitstorm
Posted by Torben Rick | September 24, 2016
Engaging with customers on twitter can lead to shitstorm – Q&A disaster on Twitter
What do Nestlé, British Gas and JP Morgan have in common The reputation of Nestlé suffered immensely in recent years for various reasons. With the aim to improve their reputation,...
social media impact on business
Posted by Torben Rick | June 27, 2015
Top 20+ social media impact on business
Impact of social media in today's business world The rise of social media has given customers unprecedented access to companies. This can be a double-edged sword: companies are able to...