Did Kenneth Cole commit brand suicide on Twitter?

This PR pro is enraged at the shoemaker’s #Cairo tweet. Will it negatively affect the brand and sales? Weigh in.

Watching the morning news with my five-year-olds today, it was more than a little unsettling to see what’s happening in Cairo. Even my children were wide-eyed at the footage of the riots, street fires and destruction. Journalists were reportedly beaten with sticks and detained by pro-government security forces.

Even the intrepid Katie Couric was swarmed as she tried to report from the scene and her cameraman maced as they filmed.

Serious stuff? You bet.

That said, it was unimaginable to see the Twitter stream this afternoon and talk on Facebook about Kenneth Cole and its abhorrent behavior. The tweet that sparked it all said:

Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.

Using the unrest in Egypt as a springboard to promote their spring collection seems just about the worst strategic move ever. Never mind a definitive step toward brand suicide.

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