“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde
It seems UK music store HMV has gotten itself into a bit of bother with a controversial new dress policy that has restrictions on long hair and tattoos. Its core demographic of long-haired tattoo-wearing teenagers have inevitably been annoyed.
The story was first reported in The Sun newspaper:
HMV warns anyone ignoring the policy will be disciplined. Until recently the chain owned some of Britain’s best known rock venues such as London’s Hammersmith Apollo. Many top stars — like tattooed Ed Sheeran and Professor Green, and long-haired Jack White of The White Stripes — would be ruled out of an HMV job because of their appearance.
One worker said: “We’ve got new management. It’s ridiculous and discrimination.” HMV insisted it wanted staff to express their personalities but had to balance this with customer expectations.
Today HMV have claimed the stories about them have been ‘somewhat sensationalised’ and have issued an extensive, unusual response to the controversey. In short it appears that they are not about to admit a mistake or revise the offensive policy:
Kerrang Radio reports:
In a lengthy response to the widespread backlash, the company claims that the media reports were “misleading” and that they have “absolutely no issues with more discreet tattoos and piercings.”It did, however, repeat its controversial demands that “extensive body art” must be covered up – something that’s still likely to enrage many.
They also apologised to those who “remain disappointed with our approach” but maintained “an engaging environment in which colleagues will be happy to work and customers may be happy to visit” is their top priority.
It is possible that the marketing department are currently congratulating themselves on all the ‘free publicity’. The famous Oscar Wilde quote probably isn’t far from their minds. It’s ironic that poor old Oscar’s suggestion that ‘all publicity was good’ came rather undone for him. In fact you could argue that negative publicity did in fact ultimately kill him when, partly as a result of gossip surrounding his ‘outrageous’ lifestyle, he was jailed for being a homosexual. After this he was forced to leave the UK, as a result of the bad publicity surrounding his name. Three years later it was during this shameful exile that he died an untimely and incredibly tragic death.