Among the thousands of people that I know and follow on the chaotic mess that is social media is a clothing designer and entrepreneur called Scott Jordan. You might have heard of him, he created a clothing company called SCOTTeVEST focused on vests and jackets with pockets designed for smartphones, tablets, etc. He famously went on the TV show Shark Tank and turned down the investment offers because he didn’t like the terms offered.
Since then he’s been quite successful with the company and ended up basically retiring from both ScotteVest and its parent company TEC Technology Enabled Clothing. Instead, he now spends a lot of time on social media – notably Facebook – and offers candid thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics. A few months ago he backed away from that, however, and switched, by his own admission, to “just talking about my poodles.”
Which didn’t save him from the backlash on his own dumb comments when he posted on Facebook about the company SCOTTeVEST advertising on Fox News because “their viewership to be extremely gullible”. He wasn’t done with that zinger, though, going on to say “I get to tell them they are f-ing idiots while getting rich off them.”
While it’s tempting to say that he’s no longer part of the company – he retired a while back – and that his personal opinions shouldn’t affect your perception of the brand, that’s absolutely not how life works. Instead FOX News viewers (mostly conservative Republicans) are calling for a boycott of his products and posting snarky responses in social media about “Enjoy bankruptcy” and similar.
It’s made national news too, with this USA Today article a good example of the coverage:
“Many on social media have vowed never to buy the multi-pocketed vests sold by SCOTTeVEST due to a now-deleted post from the founder and former CEO Scott Jordan.”
Now it’s all about crisis management. The company has issued an apology, saying that “We are extremely sorry for his unacceptable comments. Mr. Jordan’s post was impulsive and inappropriate for too many reasons to list, and rightfully offended so many people. We strongly disagree with the views expressed by Mr. Jordan.”
What Scott shared was dumb and thoughtless, no question. The fact that he’s no longer involved with the company is undoubtedly going to hurt both the company, its employees and Scott’s bottom line. More importantly, it demonstrates that you’re never really “offline” and that some opinions might just be better suited to over drinks at a bar than at the digital water cooler of social media.