H&M South Africa issued an apology this week for a tweet that implied white models portray a more positive image for the brand. The branch had just finished launching in the country when consumers voiced their concerns over the lack of diversity in their campaigns. Namely, that there were none black models within H&M’s launch campaign.
Many people across the world took to social media in order to condemn the practices of H&M. One frustrated woman tweeted the company saying @hmsouthafrica I was at your CT store. Most, if not all of your posters in store have no black models. Please work on that to appeal to everyone” and in reply H&M insensitively stated, “@Tialy_Branch marketing has a major impact and it is essential for us to convey a positive image. We want our marketing to show our fashion in an inspiring way, o convey a positive feeling”.
H&M’s ludicrous response sparked indignation in many that read it and in an attempt to clarify what they actually meant, the organisation remarked “In no way does H&M state that positivity is linked to an ethnic group. H&M is a proud global brand that embraces all people who are inspired by fashion, regardless of their ethnic background. We wish to apologise if our message has caused offence in any way as this is not the intention”.
Another disgruntled woman responded to H&M’s apology by saying “H&M want to convey the positive image of a SA without black folk. Basically. LOL. Yes. Ah. *Exits*”.