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Victoria's ‘politically incorrect’ secret

This Week - Victoria's ‘politically incorrect’ secret, Facebook document leak and Twitter boss’ tone deafness


Victoria’s Secret CEO replaced amid sales drops and culture issues

Unchecked comments around transgender and plus-sized models appear to have sealed the fate of the CEO following continuing poor sales figures.

  • Victoria's Secret has replaced CEO, Jan Singer, after the company’s Chief Marketing Officer made demeaning remarks around transgender and plus-size models.

  • Against a backdrop of decreasing sales figures, the statements that their brand was based on ‘fantasy’ and that being "politically correct" wasn't part of their brand, has drawn ridicule that they are out of touch with consumers.

  • Following the announcement last Tuesday the Victoria's Secret parent company’s share value dropped 14%.

  • Interestingly, this has opened an opportunity for the brand’s ‘reality’ rival Thirdlove, who has released an open letter to Victoria Secret explaining why the brand's male-fantasy marketing tactics, un-inclusive sizing and discriminatory culture has prompted market share growth in antithesis brands.

  • The new CEO, John Mehas, will have a task to repair the company’s connection with their consumer base following a 6% drop in sales last quarter and the closure of 1,000 stores in the US. However, it is the strategy linked to the culture that will likely provide the greatest focus for him and the board.


App to find images of ‘friends’ in bikinis the catalyst for Facebook’s internal document leaks

On Friday, Facebook lawyers told a California judge they do not know what other material might now be in circulation or might soon be released. This follows the posting of 250 internal documents which allude to unethical business practices by Facebook.

  • In a bizarre tale, documents gathered as part of an ongoing lawsuit against Facebook have been made publically available following their alleged release to British MPs.

  • Interestingly, that case came to light amid a lawsuit by an app developer who claimed that Facebook cut access to data. The app called ‘Pikini’ allowed users to locate images of their ‘friends’ in swimming costumes – a practice which Facebook describes as ‘sketchy’.

  • Among these documents were emails showing that Facebook tried to limit competition by cutting off access to Facebook data, and Facebook employees discussing how to read users' mobile phone logs without consent.

  • This incident keeps Facebook in the headlines following a bruising year that has seen:

  1. Mark Zuckerberg testify before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing after it was reported that 87 million Facebook users had their personal information harvested by Cambridge Analytica.

  2. The New York Times’ report into the past three years at Facebook that portrayed a picture of the company’s attempts to navigate a string of high-profile controversies by using unsavoury, unethical and dark PR tactics.

  3. Facebook share price dropping significantly since July.


Backlash against Twitter CEO for praising 'tourist destination' Myanmar and ignoring the Rohingya elephant in the room

Many on social media took offence to a tweet by Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, for ignoring the humanitarian catastrophe triggered after a Myanmar military operation displaced up to 700,000 Rohingya Muslims.

  • Dorsey’s tweet gave the impression that he was oblivious to the situation that United Nations human rights officials labelled "textbook ethnic cleansing". The UN claims that Myanmar military committed mass killings, sexual violence, and widespread arson against the Rohingya ethnic minority.

  • This humanitarian catastrophe is the subject of ongoing consternation following accusations by the UN against Facebook. They claimed the social media giant had morphed into a 'beast' spreading vitriol against Rohingya Muslims and further claiming that: "hate speech and incitement to violence on social media is rampant".

  • This is the second time within a month that Dorsey has found himself in trouble. In India in November he posted a picture that many users considered offensive to a Hindus.

  • This incident shows the wide reach of social media and how sensitive high profile individuals need to be when posting seemingly innocent, albeit unconsidered, posts. While these incidents don’t appear to have tarnished the Twitter business, someone in such a position as Dorsey should know better.


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