Gap's FEED USA promotion touts good intentions with a $5 donation per bag sold toward FEED USA's school lunch program, and, in October, the company responded quickly and cleverly to negative online reaction to its new logo design. But in this era of heightened consumer awareness of when and how they're being marketed to, and the digital tools with which consumers fervently document corporate missteps, companies like Gap need to get with the program. One of the bag designs in the collection was actually made in China, but was associated with the bags labeled made in the USA.
Not that this situation can even be compared to the level of crisis of BP, but it's one more example of the potential for a corporate responsibility effort to unravel when the marketing promise contradicts the resulting product or campaign reality. In this case, there was likely a hole in the company's internal communications. The manufacturing folks, or whomever, did not appropriately inform the PR and marketing folks. These days, it's up to the PR folks to fact check and research the origins of the product they're pushing, and the inspiration behind their messaging - Rodarte-M.A.C. ring a bell?
Here's how Gap responded, via Styleite:
There are several bags in the FEED USA collection. The FEED USA Canvas Tote bag and the limited edition one-of-a-kind Bandana Bag are both made in the USA.
However, the FEED USA Denim Bucket bags are made in China, and should not have been connected to the made in the USA signs.
We apologize for any inaccurate messaging.
We are proud of our FEED USA partnership. Gap donates $5 toward FEED USA's school lunch program for each bag sold.