Social Fail for 5.11 Tactical and a Warning for Advertisers Online

I love 5.11 Tactical. I buy their stuff, and think they have developed a unique and defensible brand position.

Good Ad, Bad Timing, Unforced Error. Have a contingency plan for major events.
Good Ad, Bad Timing, Unforced Error. Have a contingency plan for major events.

So they will quickly fix their Facebook advertising, which is unintentionally insensitive in the light of yesterday’s Arizona Firefighter’s tragedy:

“Being properly equipped, mentally prepared and physically strong allows you to engage, take charge and control the unpredictable. The difference between life and death is your preparedness and mindset. 5.11 Recon allows you to train harder and focus on the mission at hand.”

Complete with an image of firefighters.

If they were a client, I’d remind 5.11 that preparation and contingency isn’t something you do only in the field. Having a review process for marketing materials in the light of major national stories is an obligation of every marketer.

Now a heartfelt apology will be needed. Sooner will be better than later.