That’s the first thing I was asking when I saw the Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad and it’s the same thing I’m asking my self now seeing H&M’s image of the little black boy in the “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle” hoody. But to be honest I already know the answer.

With H&M’s hoody of the “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle”, they were never going to win. If a little white kid wore it for the product shot, it’d pass until a black kid wears it and the parents take a picture and call out H&M on social media. H&M was never really going to win this.

What’s going wrong?

There’s a real disconnect when corporate brands try and infuse themselves in different cultures, they need to know when they’re doing it correctly and when they’re just being offensive. We’re now seeing the crack in the pavements. The reason for this? Lack of diversity of people from different backgrounds working on these projects.

Can this be solved?

The issue won’t be solved by just hiring people from different backgrounds to reach a set criteria, it’s about using people from different backgrounds and their knowledge to create work which has a connection with the consumer from the culture which you are trying to speak to. First-hand experience and knowledge is and always will be better than some report conducted by someone, not from the end consumer. Of course, not everyone might have the luxury of using people from different backgrounds to ask these questions but finding them for research purposes is more than available.

I don’t care what anyone says to be honest if you want to sell, SELL. However when you want to start using social issues, you will be treading on thin ice, because if you do not get it correct, it will be very difficult to recover from the disaster, you only get one shot at this. Consumers, they’re not stupid and they will call your brand out. FACT.

By Abu Hanif Joy on 8 January 2018