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Victoria’s Secret: Lots of Skin, Short on PR Sense

I couldn’t believe it, when I saw the news on MSN just days ago that  Victoria’s Secret model, Karlie Kloss, paraded down a runway in a floor-length, Native American headdress. 

It didn’t take the company long to apologize for this public –relations gaffe that drew the outrage of Native Americans. According to Fox News, Victoria’s Secret’s apology went like this: “We sincerely apologize as we absolutely had no intention to offend anyone.” 

Oddly enough, I believe that Victoria’s Secret had no such intention. But this takes the insult even further beyond the pale of wonderment.

Apparently, it occurred to no one at the company to ask a simple, but cardinal question, before staging the event: Who might this offend? Or in this case: Will having one of our models wear a Native American head dress offend the Native American community? Once asked, the answer would have become clear.

Asking a question like this before a highly visible event reminds us that unintended consequences can happen any time, any place, and anywhere.

I’ll wager that the PR goof has probably led to more media coverage than Victoria’s Secret would have garnered had it not happened. Maybe that was the idea to begin with.