Lessons from Office Max’s ‘daughter killed in car crash’ gaffe

The father of a girl killed in a car crash received a mailer from Office Max addressed to “Mike Seay, Daughter Killed in Car Crash.” Its crisis communications response leaves a lot to be desired.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

On Tuesday, Googling “Office Max” will return more results than simply an e-commerce site for purchasing office supplies. It will also spotlight a number of news stories detailing a recent incident where a father received a direct mail letter from the company addressed to “Mike Seay, Daughter Killed in Car Crash.”

Unfortunately for Office Max, the mailing label is no coincidence. Seay’s daughter was killed in a car crash in 2013. In a statement released to the LA Times, the retailer described the gaffe as the “result of a mailing list rented through a third-party provider.”

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.