Scandal in the Age of Acceptance

This Monday, we took a look at how Millennial attitudes are shifting their views on just what can be deemed scandalous in The End Of Scandal As We Know It. We also told you that though they may be changing, scandals will not become extinct and that new issues that matter to Millennials will rise up to take the place of the traditionally taboo public behaviors. For this generation, scandals will be made up of those things that Millennials find socially unpalatable, like corporate discrimination and cover-ups. In this world, there is such a thing as bad PR — because while Millennials are quick to forgive personal missteps and brand product and marketing failures, publicly aired opinions that don’t fit into their worldview are scandal igniters. Here’s a look at some recent scandals that signify the shift:

 

1. A&F’s “Cool Kids” Comments

Abercrombie & Fitch has had a serious branding problem and PR scandal on their hands since comments that CEO Mike Jeffries made that the youth retailer does not produce plus-sized clothing because they “go after the cool kids” were publicized earlier this month. The comments incited a wave of anger and reactions from consumers online and off. Interestingly, the interview in which these comments were made is seven years old, a fact that is significant in a few ways. First, the public perception of what brands are responsible for, how they should act, and the plus-sized clothing acceptance movement has changed significantly in that time. Second, Millennials have aged up and become more economically and culturally influential since 2007. Finally, the internet means that everything a brand puts out into the public can affect their reputation—even if years have past since the gaffe. Millennials, a generation that has been taught that acceptance is the…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Right now, I’m living at home with my parents and completing my education while also working.” –Female, 21, CA

Christmas in September! The toy industry is predicting that 2015 could be the “best year in a decade” and Walmart is getting a jump on the biggest season, starting its Toy Week two weeks earlier than usual. The retailer forecasts the kid-tested toys that will be the biggest sellers, and Star Wars merchandise, food-related toys (for the mini-foodies), and animal themed playthings are all on the list. (MediaPost)

Sensitivity and political correctness are reportedly ruling some college campuses, and some believe that childhood coddling is to blame. Campus rules and guidelines are beginning to instruct avoiding “microaggressions,” small actions or words that are seen as violent or offensive (asking a non-white student “Where were you born,” for example). Some professors are also being asked to use “trigger warnings,” warnings when course material may include violence and abuse that could “trigger” the trauma of a student who experienced something similar in the past. (The Atlantic)

NBC’s American Ninja Warrior has sparked a full on fitness trend. The obstacle course that contestants battle their way through on the show is being replicated in gyms across the country so that anyone can train to be a Ninja Warrior. Some of these gyms have formed a National Ninja League to grow the sport, with Ninja competitions and championships. At the same time, the number of applicants to the show has skyrocketed, going from 5,000 at the end of season 6 to 50,000 at the end of season seven, the most recent. (Racked)

“Who lives in a pineapple under the sea” might soon be the lyrics in a major choreographed stage production. Get ready for The Spongebob Musical! Spongebob Squarepants is coming to Broadway, and a crazy amount of famous musicians are reportedly contributing to the musical score, including Aerosmith, John Legend, and David Bowie. Actors will play the now iconic children’s show characters, with no prosthetics or costumes, and the plot will be an original story that retains the quirkiness of the series. (Mashable)

It feels like a new brand fighting to become the next Chipotle, aka Millennial and teens new fast/fine casual dining favorite, appears every day—and there’s another to add to the list of ones to watch. Indikitch is a fast casual India food eatery that is planning their expansion in Manhattan. They make all-natural GMO-free ingredients a priority, use an assembly-line set-up similar to Chipotle, and pride themselves on non-bland food with spice and heat. (Business Insider)

Quote of the Day: “My favorite store to shop in is The Apple Store. Best store layout i have every experienced. They have the products I want and the expertise to answer any questions.” –Male, 19, VA

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