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Analyzing Zara’s Apology, Critique, and Social Media Backlash

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Zara clothes store, part of the Spanish Inditex group, is seen in Bilbao, Spain, November 30, 2021. REUTERS/Vincent West/File Photo

Zara’s Apology Chronicles Assessing Public Sentiment and Brand Fallout

Zara, a Spanish multinational retail clothing chain, is renowned for its expertise in fast fashion, offering a diverse range of clothing, accessories, shoes, beauty products, and perfumes. The company’s headquarters are situated in Arteixo, within the province of A Coruña, Galicia. As the leading component of the Inditex group, Zara maintains a prominent position in the global retail industry. Notably, in 2020, the company introduced more than twenty new product lines annually, showcasing its commitment to innovation and staying at the forefront of the fashion market.


Recently,Zara has released a statement and removed all images from its controversial campaign amid significant public outcry for its resemblance to scenes from the ongoing Gaza-Israel conflict. The statement, posted on Zara’s Instagram page, acknowledged the criticism and explained that the campaign, conceived in July and photographed in September, aimed to showcase craft-made garments in an artistic context using images of unfinished sculptures in a sculptor’s studio.

Zara expressed regret for any offense caused, stating that some customers misinterpreted the images, leading to their removal. However, the apology received negative responses from netizens who found it inadequate. Critics argued that the statement downplayed the widespread outrage, framed criticism as mere ‘comments,’ and lacked a genuine acknowledgment of the insensitive nature of the imagery.

RELATED ARTICLE How Zara’s apology for its controversial campaign ‘gaslit’ consumers

Syed Mohammed Idid, a strategic communications expert, highlighted the statement’s dismissiveness, the focus on “misunderstandings” and “regrets,” and the lack of concrete action or empathy towards the Palestinian people. He criticized the emphasis on aesthetics over sensitivity, branding the apology as formal and corporate, devoid of genuine remorse.

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Charu Srivastava, chief strategy officer at TriOn &Co, criticized the statement, asserting that it lacked sincerity and did not offer a genuine apology. She accused Zara of gaslighting consumers by blaming them for being too sensitive. Asiya Bakht, founder of Beets Public Relations, agreed, stating that Zara’s apology, while a step in the right direction, appeared neutral, bland, and safe. Both experts emphasized the need for a more genuine apology and acknowledgment of the harm caused by the campaign.

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