Two Topman t-shirts trigger Twitter tirade

Consumers have branded the clothing retailer 'misogynist' for two of its t-shirts. It shouldn't really have expected anything less.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012
Poor Topman. Poor, naïve Topman. The clothing retailer, known also as Topshop's irritating pre-pubescent brother, has galloped turn-ups-first into a Twitter storm of the faecal variety that's very quickly threatening to besmirch its reputation. The shop has come under fire from the after it made the rather unwise decision to produce two t-shirts which appeared variously to provide excuses for domestic violence and draw parallels between women and dogs. In an age where the wrath of the Twittering classes rules, only hilarity could ensue.

Now, it is MT's humble opinion that slogan t-shirts are, in general, to be avoided. But these ones in particular were never going to go down well: one featured the words 'I'm so sorry, but.' followed by a checklist of excuses including 'you provoked me' and 'I was drunk'; while the other features the line 'Nice new girlfriend. What breed is she?'. Charming. Topman, though, seems baffled by the anger the two have elicited. 'We would like to stress that these t-shirts were meant to be light-hearted and carried no serious meaning,' it shrugged on Facebook, before pulling its hood back up and putting its headphones on.

It's yet another example of the perils businesses face in the age of social media. Back in the pre-Twitter era, if someone didn't like a t-shirt, they might mutter 'that's a bit much', before shrugging and buying themselves a pair of socks instead. These days, they can get online and whip their peers into a digital frenzy before you can say 'mob mentality'. So businesses - even retail giants - need to keep a close eye on the kind of message they're putting across, whether that's in marketing promotions, online, or on its products.

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