I totally understand the value of connecting your organization’s messaging to what’s going on in the real world. I do it with City Year all the time.
However, a few companies chose to capitalize off Sandy (and the people that were stuck in their homes) to make a buck.
Two of the guilty parties are Urban Outfitters and American Apparel.
Here is what I received in my inbox from Urban Outfitters:
If I used the pass code ALLSOGGY at checkout, you were given free shipping for your order. All in the name of helping Sandy “suck less.”
American Apparel offered 20% off for customers living in the areas affected by the hurricane via an e-mail blast:
As Mashable documented, this sale was not welcomed by many people in the Twittersphere.
Personally, I don’t appreciate making light of such a serious situation. I found it to be incredibly inappropriate and distasteful.
One piece of e-mail I didn’t mind receiving was from Barack Obama, in which he didn’t ask me to donate to his campaign but instead asked me to donate to the American Red Cross so I could help support those affected.
More organizations should follow suit in that approach – garner attention for helping build support, not to take advantage of a terrible situation to make a profit.