Feedback on ChapStick’s apology

Here’s a comment I like on Reel Girl:

Reading the comments to the “apology” is interesting. What I came away with is the conclusion that by calling the removed comments “foul, repetitive, and spam-like,” ChapStick reinforced the notion the people concerned about sexism are foul-mouthed, strident (shrill?), unreasonable, and unprincipled in pursuit of their goals. I don’t know if that was their intention, but if so… brilliantly played, ChapStick.

ChapStick writes: “We apologize that fans have felt like their posts are being deleted…” Huh? If you feel like your post is being deleted, is it actually being deleted?

This is a great comment from Adweek reader Elizabeth Kraus:

I’ve used chapstick for years; I’m dependent.  I didn’t think the ad was offensive, but I do think that the ‘apology’ is. Telling people that you’re sorry for how THEY feel is equivalent to saying that it’s their fault for how they think and feel about what you did.  If the company was silencing critics, own it, fix it and move on. Telling people that they don’t have the proper emotional response, and that you’re sorry about that?  Makes me want Blistex.

Here is Ray Kerins (Of ChapStick I believe) comment back to her:

Elizabeth Kraus – For
us this was about listening, analyzing the feedback and taking action.  So even while social media is so new to so
many of us, we are committed to the dialogue.

As I wrote, I think it’s great ChapStick removed the ad, apologized, and is creating a new ad. But also, as I wrote, the deleted comments that I saw are clearly not foul mouthed, threatening, or spammed as the screen shots show.

Melissa Wardy of Pigtail Pals got this response:

“Thank you for your email. Our new Chaptsick ad was not intended to offend anyone. We are dedicated to listening to the views of our customers. To that end, we are removing the image from all of our properties.
Thank you again for your feedback.
Raymond Kerins

Melissa Spiers who wrote the original post comments:

All of the media coverage on this is great but this was not just a photo posted on the internet. When I wrote the original article (with the original photo used here and in Adweek, Business Insider, etc) it was because I saw it as a full page ad in a magazine. It was also apparently a television commercial, featuring a woman’s ass jiggling around on the screen. It wasn’t JUST a picture on ChapStick’s site.

We don’t know if there is a TV commercial. We haven’t seen one, have you? The photo, I believe Melissa photographed from a magazine; it’s certainly running in print. But the point was that ChapStick wasn’t listening to their customers and now they seem to be, so that’s good. There’s still an ad out there that many people find offensive and the company is now saying they hear that and that they are no longer actively circulating it. That is what they’re saying, right?

Read ChapStick’s full apology here.

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