Retailer’s “Satirical” Meet-The-Parents Outfit Guide Didn’t Go Over So Well

Photo: Courtesy of Joy
Sometimes satire misses the mark, and that's definitely what happened with UK-based retailer Joy. The Huffington Post UK reports that the clothing company sent out an email to their customers a few weeks ago that contained a "Meet The Parents" style guide, but you definitely won't want to take its advice. “Show your boyfriend’s mum you’re the girl to take care of her little prince in beautiful dresses that scream marriage material,” the guide begins. That's a cringe-worthy sentence — but it gets worse. “Knee length skirts exude class," it continues. "While respectable necklines mean father-in-law won’t have a heart attack when you lean across the table for a second helping of roast potatoes.” Gross. Many customers took to Facebook to express their outrage with the feature. "Can someone please explain the thought process behind this ad campaign?" one user wrote. Others went to the company's page to complain. "Your 'Meet the Parents' marketing email is incredibly offensive, outdated and ill-conceived," wrote Leslie Gold. "What were you thinking? You've lost me as a customer, and I've shared your email with my friends. Poorly played, Joy." "Try to refrain from blasting out your 1950s heteronormative advertising for 2017," advised Lianne Hare. "You might win a few more customers." In response, a Joy spokesperson told the Huffington Post UK that the email was intended as satire. “Our ‘Meet the Parents’ satire stemmed from a real-life occurrence in one of our stores which a panicked young woman came to us one afternoon stating she had nothing to wear for her meet the parents dinner,” the spokesperson explained, saying Joy wanted to share this with other customers who might be having the same dilemma. “Over the years, our tone has often been tongue in cheek, much to the entertainment of many of our customers," the statement continued. "However, we understand that we missed the mark with our terminology and apologise deeply to all our customers that feel offended as this was not our intent."

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