Singapore-based brand SuperGurl, which targets teens and tweens, quickly realized that their Black Friday advertisement which urged customers to “Rape Us Now” wasn’t the brightest of campaigns. The offensive phrase was paired alongside a very young girl (I’d peg her at around 12) making a very sexually suggestive facial expression. Needless to say, the backlash was swift and fierce.
— Keay Nigel (@KeayNigel) November 30, 2015
By Cyber Monday, the brand was apologizing for the ill-conceived promo.
“I am writing this to express our sincerest apologies pertaining to our insensitive action and the choice of word – rape during our ‘Black Friday’ sale,” writes the brand’s Creative Director, Jordus Lim. “We do not mean for it to be offensive to anyone, and I extend my sincerest apology for the lack of a better word.”
This reminds me of that time one of my college professors had to tell us that the phrase “I raped that exam” (or, in many cases, “that exam raped me”) might be found offensive by some students. Rape is rape, people, rape is not synonymous with aced or failed and it is definitely not synonymous with shop. Mind-boggling that this isn’t universal knowledge, no?
Meanwhile, SuperGurl’s other ad, baring the less offensive but still potentially offensive phrase “Don’t Say Never” remains on their Facebook page. Sorry SuperGurl, I’m going to say that references to rape and lack of consent are never good ways to sell clothing.