Luxury men’s retailer Harry Rosen is apologizing for a mail-out flyer depicting controversial US presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The flyer shows Trump making a speech with the caption “if not for Harry’s Private Sale, I’d wall off Canada too!”
Trump has become a divisive figure on the campaign trail, thanks to anti-immigrant comments ranging from calling Mexicans criminals and rapists to and suggesting Muslims be entered into a federal database.
Branding consultant Bernie Hadley-Beauregard of Brandever Marketing says harnessing that controversy was likely what Harry Rosen was shooting for.
“He’s a controversial figure, he gets a lot of attention in the media, and I think it’s probably a clever little endeavour for Harry Rosen. They’re looking for something that will create a little bit of a stir. To maybe ride his coattails to their stores with this story is not a bad one either. And here we are talking about it right now.”
And while many may find Trump’s politics repulisve, Hadley-Beauregard says he doesn’t think it will hurt he company.
“I think it’s flash in the pan, I don’t think we’ll see any long term impact of it whatsoever.”
Harry Rosen, for it’s part, isn’t taking any chances, releasing the following statement today:
Our private sale card is not intended to offend, it was intended to be humorous. We were mocking the absurdity of Trump’s xenophobic proposal to build a wall between the USA and a neighbouring country. If we offended in anyway please accept our apology. It certainly was not meant as an endorsement of Donald Trump.
Online reaction has been mixed – with some condemning the ad, and others applauding the gag.
Got this fantastic advertisement in the mail today from Harry Rosen. Kudos gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/6T5olIygzR— Gary Bowen (@surfingarbo) November 24, 2015
No comment yet from Donald Trump’s campaign.