Crocs learned a hard lesson yesterday: Tweeting about current events can be dangerous business.
The maker of the colorful clogs took to social media with the aim of acknowledging the death of iconic performer David Bowie. The Niwot, Colo.-based brand posted a picture of a white pair of Crocs that featured a red lightning bolt on top, a nod to to the cover art for Bowie’s highly-recognized Aladdin Sane album.
In its Tweet, the company said, “Your magic will be missed, but your inspiration lives on forever. #DavidBowie”
Soon after, the public backlash began — and within the hour the brand had removed its Tweet.
Still, the fans kept after the company.
Jamie McKinnell wrote: “Deleted now but still exists on the Guardian’s Bowie blog. How not to link your brand to gried, by @crocs.”
— Jamie McKinnell (@jamie86) January 11, 2016
It is not the first time brands have waded into controversy on social media.
In 2013, designer Kenneth Cole used the U.S. military intervention in Syria as a segue to sell more shoes.
That publicity blunder came two years after he angered people — and subsequently apologized — with a Middle East-related Tweet about the chaos in Cairo.
“Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.”