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H&M US apologises for controversial ad

  • News
  • January 11, 2018
H&M US apologises for controversial ad

Swedish fashion giant H&M has issued an official statement apologising for a racially sensitive ad which also resulted in a split between the chain and collaborator, The Weeknd. 

The ad in question below was called racial insensitive and was quickly taken down after public backlash. While many customers vowed to boycott the company, notable artists such as The Weeknd have publically cut ties with the brand.

The retailer also took to Instagram with a statement to apologise for its mistake. 

We have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry. Link in bio.

A post shared by H&M (@hm) on


H&M is known for its racial inclusively, featuring hijab models and collaborating with designers of all backgrounds. Fans of the chain on Instagram are putting the ad down to a one off for the retailer. 

As well as apologising and taking down the ad, the retailer has also removed the item of clothing from production. 

But mistakes like this happen in the world of retail with some regularity. In October last year, Dove, the soap company owned by Unilever, apologized for a Facebook ad that showed a black woman removing her brown shirt to reveal a smiling white woman in a crisp white shirt underneath.

In April, the skin care brand Nivea pulled an ad that used the slogan “white is purity” after it was accused of racial insensitivity.

More has been placed on the importance of cultural sensitivity as it relates to retailers and their advertising in 2018.

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