WHAT: An ad being shared via email and social media that uses the election of Donald Trump to promote the sale of hats.
WHO: AJM International, a Canadian promotional products supplier.
WHY WE CARE: Someone at AJM International thought it would be a good idea—wait, not just a good idea but a GREAT idea—to reach out to potential customers with an ad celebrating Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hats.
As you can see, the ad claims that Hillary Clinton spent $100 million on ads and billboards during the presidential campaign while Trump spent $9 on a hat. This makes no sense, of course. According to CNBC, Trump’s campaign spent roughly $240 million on advertising through mid-October, while Clinton was up to more than $450 million at that point.
The inaccurate copy aside, the real problem is that AJM International’s ad is offensive to anyone who was shocked and repulsed by Trump’s campaign, which was built not just on a hat, but a mountain of bigotry, xenophobia, and homophobia. Yes, Trump won the election, but if you turn on the news, you will see that many people aren’t supportive of his marketing tactics and are living in fear of what the president-elect is going to do.
“Hey, I work in the merchandise business,” Montrealer Laura Wills posted on AJM International’s Facebook page. “I just got an email from your company with this ad in it. AJM International: go fuck yourself. You do not get to use the election of a bigot to sell your fucking hats. I will be encouraging people not to do business with you.”
To which a tone-deaf employee of AJM International publicly responded: “The goal of this ad focuses on the power of headwear. Everyone is entitled to their own view of the candidates. This is simply to show the value of headwear as a promotional tool. Thank you.”
Given that our friends up north are a pretty liberal, loving bunch, chances are AJM International isn’t going to get much new business in Canada out of celebrating a symbol that distresses so many.