RETAIL giant David Jones has found itself in hot water after apologising to a Facebook user who complained about the use of a “black model” in a summer beauty catalogue.
Taking to the retailer’s social media page, the woman said she was “disappointed by the cover” because it featured a model who she felt didn’t “represent the general population of Australia”.
“Although I think your use of the beautiful black model is very attractive, I don’t feel it represents the general population of Australia,” the woman wrote.
“How on earth am I expected to relate to this cover? I can’t wear ANY of her makeup, I don’t know ANYONE who looks like her … she could have been used on the back page.”
The woman, who news.com.au has chosen not to name, said she was “pi**ed off” at big companies “going for the minority feel good”.
“Please think about your shoppers next time,” she ended the post.
But instead of reprimanding the post or using the opportunity to take a stand, David Jones issued an apology.
“We are very sorry you feel this way,” the response read.
“We have passed your feedback on to our Marketing Department for their information and consideration.”
Their response has since created social media backlash, with users claiming an apology is “totally unacceptable”.
“In response to the complaint you received regarding a model who happens to have black skin … I would like to ask you not to submit an apology to the complainant, as you have done nothing wrong,” one user said.
“Your whimpering reply was disgraceful,” another added.
Following the criticism, David Jones issued an additional apology, saying they “are not and will never apologise for representing the diverse makeup of the Australian community in our marketing material”.
“We are proud of the cover and talent used for our SS17 beauty catalogue and will continue to proudly celebrate diversity.
“We acknowledge our initial response was not appropriate as it does not reflect our values.”
The original post has since been deleted from the David Jones Facebook page by the user who made the first complaint.
In a statement to news.com.au, a David Jones spokeswoman echoed the sentiment posted to those who bristled at its first apology. They added: “Our initial response to this Facebook post was a standard customer response without thought as to how it would be interpreted and we acknowledge this response was not appropriate or reflective of our values which promote diversity and inclusion in our business and the community.”