The coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 5,000 lives around the world, came swiftly and abruptly. Marketers in the U.S. were unprepared for what President Trump on Friday declared as a national emergency. Many brands have hurriedly pulled their ads or postponed campaigns that could appear insensitive during this time, and are deliberating how to move forward.
Below, some ads that have either been pulled or are receiving backlash on social media.
When ASOS first launched its chainmail face masks in August 2019, the e-commerce retailer was already being mocked online for their design. In a tweet at the time of launch, the retailer promoted them saying: “Festival season/flu season/dealing with close-talkers, meet your fave new year-round piece.” Maybe they could have been fashionable a few months ago…maybe, but now? Face masks have been the source of a lot of misinformation during the coronavirus, to the point where Facebook and Google this week banned ads for face masks. In the last 24 hours, consumers on Twitter have been complaining about ads they’re seeing for the face masks across platforms.
The silver or gold face masks were being sold for $17. Ads were automated and automatically pulled from the ASOS website, but will no longer show since the company said it has pulled the product recently.