Snapchat made headlines last week for mocking the Chris Brown and Rihanna 2009 incident with an ad that read “Would you rather: Slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown?” In no particular order, the Navy came to her defense, Rihanna added her two sense, her Navy responded, Snapchat issued an apology, and Snapchat stocks plummeted.
It’s a pattern now. Companies release insensitive ads. They get horrible feedback which leads to them issuing a sorry apology as if no preventative measures could have been taken to avoid this situation. We’ve seen it with H&M, Shea Moisture and Pepsi but how many more slip-ups must happen before companies start to learn from each other’s mistakes?
In each of the aforementioned scenarios, businesses temporarily suffered after the public got wind of their poorly thought out advertisements. Celebrities and non celebrities alike took to social media to express their frustration and disappointment. Questions about the process and members of the executive board arose from those who couldn’t wrap their minds around the fact that somehow these heartless posts had been approved.
When I was in J-School, one of my professors made us take the Implicit Bias test so that we’d be aware of our biases and keep them in check. It was the first thing I thought of when I heard about the Snapchat ad, yet another “mishap” from a well known organization. I couldn’t help but to wonder why the test isn’t a requirement in the hiring process. It just might be what the executive board needs to limit the number of insensitive people hired to be on board.