Urban Outfitters finally spoke out both via Twitter and on the blog to which they link:
Hey everyone, please read our statement regarding the I Heart Destination Necklace. http://urbout.co/kqdecK
Why the company waited until the Saturday morning of a holiday weekend is beyond me.
Note also that my friend Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb found a different take on the story that showed that Tru.che did not originate the design in question:
Late night RT: if you’ve read about UrbanOutfitters vs Etsy, this might make you reconsider the story @Regretsy: Urban Outrage bit.ly/iNYW9A
@tallasiandude had quipped to me yesterday:
@bradberens I would think the “most chilling thing from an industry perspective” is its lack of ethics WRT design theft. #urbanoutfitters
To which I riposted:
@tallasiandude don’t want to presume guilt– except for bad marketing tactics.
In light of Marshall’s gemcutting tweet, I’m doubly glad of that exchange with @tallasiandude.
The Take Home: Whether or not Urban Outfitters is guilty of design theft, the company is definitely guilty of having a poorly-conceived social media crisis policy, which after the Domino’s 2009 debacle (see my overview post) is just plain foolish. Whether or not a proposed boycott was justified is immaterial– UO needed to get out there in a hurry and didn’t.
I’ll be curious as to whether or not we see shareholder erosion for Urban Outfitters.