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Flipkart Apologises for Women’s Day Message, Says ‘We Messed up’

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Flipkart has apologised for its message on International Women’s Day which was called out for being sexist. On Women’s Day, consumers received an SMS from the e-commerce company which asked to celebrate the day with a discount on kitchen appliances. This drew flak on social media as Flipkart’s method of wooing women customers by reducing price of kitchen appliances was considered regressive. After many pointed it out, the e-commerce site issued an apology on Twitter:

“We messed up and we are sorry. We did not intend to hurt anyone’s sentiments and apologise for the Women’s Day message shared earlier.”

Netiens felt that Flipkart’s apology imparted important marketing lessons.

“This is why i always say “Marketing is one of the most essential function of any business”. It can backfire, if not done appropriately. Beware.”

“Learnings:

1. Don’t be too desperate to connect marketing/sales with every event.

2. A simple appreciation/congratulations/felicitation message can also do. You don’t have to sell all the time.

3. Apologise when you are wrong.

4. Don’t repeat, else the apology meant nothing.”

“Marketing folks need to get over the fomo to associate with special days – their desperation ends up with no understanding and little nuance. These are self goals.”

The faux pas made by Flipkart, whether coincidental or not, struck social media users as misogynistic. A promotional message sent out to customers by Flipkart on March 7, on the eve of International Women’s Day, reads, “Dear Customer, This Women’s Day, let’s celebrate You. Get Kitchen Appliances from Rs. 299 (sic).” While cooking or kitchen-related tasks are not gendered in themselves, the misogynistic association suggesting women “belong in the kitchen” is a secret to no one. This was the reason that Flipkart’s message got flak on Twitter.

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