Typically when I go shopping, I naturally notice which stores incorporate a diverse group of models in their ad campaigns. H&M is included in my mental list of stores that represent diversity. That’s why I was surprised to learn that H&M would incorporate such a racially sensitive ad like the one below…
“COOLEST MONKEY IN THE JUNGLE” is what his hoodie reads.
How could a well known, “on trend” brand that seems to be very progressive and socially conscious allow something so racially insensitive fly pass the radar?
R&B Singer, The Weekend, released a tweet expressing his disappointment as he announced that he will not be working with H&M moving forward as a result of this ad.
As usual, social media didn’t hold back with voicing their opinions on this issue. In fact, there is an image surfacing that has flipped this from a negative to a positive!
Here was my initial thought…
Having shopped in dozens of H&M stores throughout the country, there always appears to be a well balanced, diverse staff. However this may not reflect the corporate staff.
Does this image reflect a lack of diverse leadership in corporate positions?
Everything needs to be approved before it is released to the public, right? In this scenario, if there were people of African descent in these high ranking leadership positions, I couldn’t imagine an ad, such as the one above, being approved.
Innocent mistakes happen, which could very well be the case here. This is yet another reason why it is important for companies to include a diverse group of employees with different experiences and different types of awareness.
I’m jumping to an assumption, I know–but I do think that it’s something worth looking into.