Another giant retailer has turned to Facebook to apologize for a public relations flub, this time over a Muslim reality television show.
The big box store Lowe’s faced charges of religious intolerance and bigotry and turned to Facebook to dig their way out of it. The story has all the trappings of a communications firestorm.
Lowe’s was running ads during a reality show about Muslim Americans called “All-American Muslim” on TLC.
A conservative group, The Florida Family Association, complained.
According to the Associated Press, the group called the show, “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”
Lowe’s pulled the ads after receiving emails from the group’s members.
The saga continued, when a California state Senator Ted Lieu called the giant retailer’s actions “un-American,” and urged a boycott of the store until the company apologizes to Muslims and start running the ads again.
Over the weekend, the retailer issued an apology via its Facebook page, admitting that the company “managed to make some people very unhappy.” The full post is pasted below.
Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lightning rod for many of those views. As a result we did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.
However, the action doesn’t go far enough for Lieu and many others, who are still urging action against Lowe’s.
The statement has generated almost 12,400 comments and nearly 2,500 likes. You can imagine the intensity of the online debate given the sensitive subject matter. One website is gathering some of the dumbest comments left on Lowe’s Facebook page.
Do you think companies should use Facebook to address public mistakes?