Clothing company Black Milk has built a thriving business on its use of social media, but the business has come under fire from its own fans for a Star Wars Day Facebook post.
Black Milk Clothing sells clothing with unusual prints including Star Wars designs.
The business is an Australian fashion success turning over millions of dollars a year and employing more than 100 people.
It has a devoted social media following with over 625,000 Facebook fans.
On May 4 (May the Fourth), known among Star Wars fans as Star Wars Day, Black Milk posted a photo entitled ‘when I attempt to be a geeky goddess’.
It pictured two women with one photograph labelled ‘expectation’ and the other labelled ‘reality’.
It bothered fans by giving the implication that the woman on the left was somehow better than the woman on the right, Mayim Bialik as Amy in The Big Bang Theory.
It also went against Black Milk’s ‘commandments’ listed on its Facebook page, firstly ‘Commandment #1 – You shall be excellent to one another’ and ‘Commandment #5 – You shall not make critical comments on other women’s bodies’.
When some of Black Milk’s fans posted on the page about the contradiction their comments were either deleted or met with condescending comments from the Black Milk’s social media team.
Instead of apologising and deleting the post, Black Milk’s social media team went on the offensive, accusing its own fans of being sexist.
“To those saying that this is hating, bullying, body-shaming and misogyny – that’s just wrong! No one ever said that Amy looks ugly. We certainly don’t think that. If you think that, perhaps it says more about the way you view women than the way we do.”
Eventually Black Milk deleted the post but the damage had already been done.
It’s a significant blooper from a business which was previously listed by social media agency Socialbakers as having one of the most successful Facebook pages in Australia.
Black Milk was cited by Socialbakers for its devotion.
With a response rate of 68%, and an average response time of 51 minutes, Socialbakers lauded Black Milk for having one of the most active pages in Australia.
At the time, marketing manager Cameron Parker told SmartCompany that Black Milk handled all its social media in-house and encouraged fans to generate content.
Because of this Parker said Black Milk doesn’t tolerate harmful comments. When it invites fans to post pictures, Black Milk is adamant about the rules.
“If you say to someone that they need to gain some weight, or wash their hair, or whatever, then we take it down. We find that inappropriate and it’s immediately banned,” he said.
“If you actually have a look at our Facebook tabs, there’s one called ‘obey’. We list our commandments there, and it’s basically along the principles of being excellent to each other.”
SmartCompany contacted Black Milk to ask why the business breached its own social media rules but did not receive a response prior to publication.