Department retailer David Jones is under fire after apologising to a customer who criticised its use of a Sudanese-Australian model in its latest campaign. A woman took to their Facebook page to question its use of the teenage model Adut Akech.
I feel quite disappointed by the cover of your latest Summer Beauty catalogue. Although I think your use of the beautiful black model is very attractive, I don't feel it represents the general population of Australia. How on Earth am I expected to relate to this cover? I can't wear ANY of her makeup, I don't know ANYONE who looks like her... She could have been used on the back page... BTW did you even notice the irony? On the opening page you have a whole section on fake tans!!! You people have really missed the mark here, and I'm pissed off and sick of big companies going for the minority feed good. Please think about your shoppers next time.
To which David Jones replied – while digging themselves a hole – that they were "very sorry" the woman felt that way. This didn't sit well with other users and customers and spread like wildfire. Many dubbed the retailer's response as 'totally unacceptable'. One Facebook user wrote: "Your whimpering reply was disgraceful." While another said, "I would ask you not to submit an apology to the complaint, as you have done nothing wrong."
To avoid all of this, David Jones should've stuck to its guns and promoted diversity and multiculturalism or just simply leave the comment alone.
Following the controversy, a David Jones spokeswoman admitted the initial response was a standard customer response without thought as to how it would be interpreted. "We acknowledge this response was not appropriate or reflective of our values, which promote diversity and inclusion in our business and in the community."