oana vasiliuI never thought that a T-shirt can make such a buzz. But it can and it almost transformed it in a crisis situation. JCPenney received a lesson about what social media means in terms of public opinion.

According PR Daily, on 1st of September JCP is apologizing for the message which is printed to a T-shirt that is sold on their website: “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me.”

The promo copy for the shirt reads: “Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out? She’ll love this tee that’s just as cute and sassy as she is.”

Being smart is so last season.

Backlash on the company’s Facebook page has been swift, with people condemning the company for selling the shirt. One commenter writes:

It will be quite some time before I spend my dollars at [JCPenney]. I also question the person(s) responsible for making the decision to manufacture and sell this particular t-shirt. Are they still employed with JCP….and what will they ‘create’ next? Insulting at the very least. [JCPenney], as a corporation, should be so very ashamed of themselves.”

oana vasiliuA number of commenters also expressed confusion as to why people are getting so worked up about a T-shirt. Another commenter says: “Just don’t buy the T-shirt simple as that.”

JCPenney has agreed to pull the T-shirt from its website and has apologized for producing it. A rep from the company’s corporate communications department told the Village Voice:

“We are not happy about the shirt! We’re looking into it right now, to find out how it happened. It was only online, not available in stores, and we have removed it from the site.”

Companies, be very careful what you do. The public has more and more power in their hands so be prepared for what’s worse.

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.