Tom Doctoroff
Tom Doctoroff

A video of two customers having sex in a changing room of a Beijing outlet of Uniqlo went viral last week. Uniqlo even had to deny this was a marketing trick. Advertising guru Tom Doctoroff says in the Wall Street Journal it could have handled the issue more relaxed, in line with its own branding,

The Wall Street Journal:

The retailer, owned by Fast Retailing Co., sells mix-and-match clothing — so why not respond with a playful, yet serious line that connects consumers to the brand? That’s the advice of Tom Doctoroff, Asia Chief Executive of JWT, who offered one possible slogan: “Make your own style, but don’t take it too far.”

In response to the viral sex video that was shot in a dressing room of one of its Beijing stores, Uniqlo said in a statement that it reminded “all customers to abide by society’s moral standards.” A spokeswoman for the company declined to respond to questions about the tone of the company’s response but said it was not involved in the video and that it has turned the matter over to the police for investigation.

While Uniqlo didn’t opt for comic relief, other companies and consumers did. China-based car company Chery Automobile Co. posted on its social media sites last week a message that said, “Don’t try another room, try a car.”

Venucia, Nissan Dongfeng’s low-price brand for China, sent this message over social media: “The car is equipped with power seats. Why go to Uniqlo?”…

Of course, there is a serious side to the video. Making, publishing or spreading pornographic or obscene material is illegal in China and is considered a criminal act. And sex videos–no matter how much traction and attention they get online–don’t exactly match with this retailer’s brand message, said Mr. Doctoroff.

More in the Wall Street Journal.

Tom Doctoroff is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers´ request form.

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