How do you handle crisis communication? Just ask this retail giant. Target’s recent security breach triggered multiple press releases updating consumers on the steps the company launched to remedy the situation. The company reached out to customers on social media as well.
This included an open letter from CEO Gregg Steinhafel shared on Facebook with a direct link to the company website.
But Target can’t catch a break when it comes to crisis management. With the rise of the “thigh gap” trend, described as the space between a woman’s inner thighs when standing upright with both knees touching, women are trying to achieve this unrealistic goal. Target didn’t make this body image issue any better.
In March, just in time for bikini shopping, Target’s online site revealed a serious case of Photoshop gone wrong.
Online fitness guru, Cassie Ho, was one of the many people who discovered Target’s gaffe. She made a blog post on her website and went one step further and blasted Target on her Instagram feed to point out Target’s unrealistic portrayal of women.
She wasn’t the only one to take to social media. The backlash from consumers swelled as they bashed Target on Twitter.
Within hours, Target deleted the offensive images from their website. However, with capture technology, screen shots of the model and the website still circulated in the days following.
Various news outlets were also quick to point out the mistake, and one media outlet reported the incident had incited discussion about body image. In Target’s defense, they haven’t been the only company to excessively use Photoshop. It seems fashion label The Limited has also come under scrutiny. According to WebProNews, Target spokesman Evan Miller issued a public apology.
Target did not address the issue on any social media outlet, as they had done for the security breach. Not one Facebook post or a single tweet. No press releases regarding the mistake or issuing an apology can be found on their corporate website either. Did they just brush it under the rug hoping people would forget about it? Was this a good strategy?