Zeenat Moorad Associate editor: Financial Mail

Sometimes brands do dumb things. Remember when Dove in a Facebook advertising campaign featured a black woman turning into a white woman after using Dove body lotion? Or when H&M had to apologise for its ad featuring a black child wearing a hoodie embossed with the words "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle"? In SA, where sales clocked €86.3m last year (roughly 0.4% of the brand’s total sales), there were protests at some of its stores. American rapper The Weeknd cut business ties with H&M, and NBA star LeBron James was among those who responded with outrage to the ad. The Swedish retailer went on to appoint its first-ever head of inclusion and diversity. The blunder proved a cautionary tale of the power of social media to unseat brands. And also how crucial it is for global players to take into account sensitivities and differences in cultural views in the markets in which they operate. Again, sometimes brands do dumb things. Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana (D&G) this past week foun...

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