Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Good Business Plan??

Computer Error Killed T-shirt Business

One of the popular online T-shirt selling companies that had offices in the United Kingdom has recently been knocked out of business. It reportedly was a computer error which resulted in it advertising the company’s wares on Amazon glorifying rape, murder and sex crimes.

Design company Solid Gold Bomb seems to have lived up to its name. Nobody expected that dozens of T-shirts with offensive slogans like “Keep Calm and Rape a Lot” or “Keep Calm and Kill Her” would appear on Amazon.

The T-shirts were sold on Amazon, but the retailer has now suspended the company’s account after an uproar that saw Solid Gold Bomb accused of making money from domestic violence. The company was set up in Melbourne by Michael Fowler. Its founder told in the interview that he was completely oblivious to the outcry until he saw the news on the company’s Facebook page.

Before the accident Michael Fowler was receiving 300 to 1,700 orders per day, but since the scandal broke, his sales plunged to as few as 3 the very next day. Fowler admitted he might have to shut down his venture in a few days. The founder has plastered Solid Gold Bomb's official site with an apology message, and explained that this happened due to a “computer error”.

Reportedly, the story was the following: Fowler created a range of parody “Keep Calm” T-shirts and wrote a “three-line script” which was supposed to harness electronic dictionaries and verb lists in order to automatically generate phrases for the T-shirts. As a result, he ended up with thousands of various options on Amazon with the help of what is claimed to be a “100% automated process”.

The problem is that Fowler didn’t realize that the process in question could create offensive T-shirts or that any of them were on sale until the scandal blew up. Once he knew about the situation, he cancelled orders he had got for the T-shirts since that day.

He issued an apology message to explain the situation and promised that as a father, husband, brother and son, he would have never promoted a product like that (which seems logic). Fowler claimed this was never his intention and he was extremely sorry for the trouble this carelessness caused.

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