Well, in what may go down as one of the more tacky marketing ploys in recent history, here's what Kenneth Cole did via Twitter:
Now Cole is being criticized for "hijacking" the #Cairo hashtag, which has been helping Twitter users track the latest news from Egypt.
TechCrunch's Michael Arrington puts it succinctly.
WTF is wrong with you, @KennethCole ? http://twitter.com/#!/KennethCole/status/33177584262971393
Some people are calling for a Kenneth Cole boycott.
Here's a good question: How much of the outrage was anticipated?
I have to say the #Kennethcole tweet made me giggle; they had to know there would be backlash.. They are now in a PR nightmare. Intended???
Another problem: Kenneth Cole is known for edgy ad campaigns, but this one wasn't even very clever.
In what has to be an Internet speed record, a parody @kennethcolepr account was created within minutes of Cole's first Cairo tweet, and the #KennethColeTweets hashtag took off. A sampling:
"People from New Orleans are flooding into Kenneth Cole stores!" #KennethColeTweets
As for the real Kenneth Cole, he's sorry (sort of).
Re Egypt tweet: we weren't intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment -KC
What do you think? Was this an offhand remark that happened to go viral, or did Kenneth Cole intend to cause a controversy this big?
More Egypt coverage from Surge Desk:
Anderson Cooper Tells Twitter That He's Sore But OK After Egypt Attack
Ahmed Maher: 5 Facts on the Facebook Activist Allegedly Arrested in Cairo
Egypt Upheaval Today; Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia Unrest Tomorrow?
Follow Surge Desk on Twitter.