Do you see something wrong with this picture? Yes? No? Well, many, a.k.a. everyone, found that Hallmark, or in this case, Hallmissed the memo on political correctness; changing the traditional Christmas carol of “Deck the Halls” from ‘don we now our gay apparel’ to ‘fun apparel’. Oops–definitely a wrong move on the company who supposedly “makes the world a more caring place by helping people laugh, love, heal, say thanks, reach out and make meaningful connections with others” –Company Website
Companies, now then ever, need to carefully watch where they back into; for you just may hit a mailbox (a customer or two) or you might run over a kid (the social media stratosphere). Now, more then ever, a company’s mistake can be displayed and unfortunately persecuted in a matter of minutes with a humbling audience of about 200 million people or so. Not so cool, right? Hallmark, most recently, got a taste of backing out too quickly with their very cute but kind of offensive Christmas ornament. Changing the word from ‘gay,’ a word traditionally meaning happy, to ‘fun’ blowing up @Hallmarks twitter feed and making this dinky little ornament into ‘anti-gay’ propaganda. Many said they will no longer buy from Hallmark–others will return anything they own from them.
Many say that we have become more and more sensitive (and maybe we have) but if you’re a company, especially Hallmark (you make greeting cards for goodness sake), aren’t you suppose to be sensitive to your audience? Tsk. Tsk. We’ll just have to wait and look at sales for Hallmark in the next couple months to see if sales do indeed go down, but let this be a lesson (another lesson, really) that focus groups are great and an opinion or two from consumers may help you in the long run.