Old Navy made a Father’s Day gift no dad will want

oldnavy2Just when you think it’s safe in June – the month when dad gets his deserving due and eventual one day in the sun – retail company Old Navy drums up yet another t-shirt controversy to undermine dads in one cotton-polyester-blend swoop.

Most recently, it unveiled a t-shirt quickly drawing the ire of not only dads, but social media users of all types.

On the shirt, bold letters proclaim “It’s Father’s Day”; creative use of alternate colors and one small, additional word reveal its true message:  “It’s Really Her Day.”

Dads are not pleased.

The shirt has been mildly circulating on social media in days prior, but was brought to the forefront yesterday by well known SAHD advocates At-Home Dad Network (@HomeDadNet) and Chris Bernholdt (@DadNCharge).

At Twitter user @katgordon pointed out, “What does this even mean?”

So far, that’s difficult to answer, as attempts to reach an Old Navy spokesperson went unanswered.

The shirt could mean that the retailer finally discovered the hidden words inside “Father’s Day” and felt the idea was too good to pass up for a shirt – an item that’s located for purchase at oldnavy.com under the incongruous category “Humor-Graphic Tee for Men.”

Perhaps Old Navy is making an insensitive statement that every day really is mom’s day.

It’s also probable that Old Navy created yet another t-shirt simply to stir controversy and draw attention to its brand, a classic move from the school of marketing behavior where “any publicity is good publicity.”

In any case, the timing and attempt at humor was lost on consumers immediately.

It was just six months ago when Old Navy unveiled a shirt possessing the power to both uplift and denigrate, as its children’s t-shirt proclaiming “Young Aspiring Artist,” was crossed out in favor of “Astronaut” and “President.”  The shirt sent a strong message to artists that their profession wasn’t respectable, and under pressure from consumers everywhere, the shirt was eventually pulled from shelves.

Whatever Old Navy’s rationale may be, it’s hardly defensible.  This latest outrage shirtrage isn’t going away anytime soon, and that little communication tool known as the Internet is likely to let Old Navy know it.

 

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