Were Old Navy’s Pride T-Shirts Just a Marketing Hoax?

Were Old Navy’s Pride T-Shirts Just a Marketing Hoax?

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They aren’t in stores, but it’s sure not because they’ve sold out.

We were pleased as a peach last week to share word with you that Old Navy was debuting a line of Gay Pride t-shirts this past weekend, with proceeds benefiting the It Gets Better Project.

Marking the first time in…it’s got to be a decade, since I last entered an Old Navy, my partner and I popped into the downtown Seattle location to purchase the goods and emphatically thank the store managers for participating in the unprecedented Pride line by a major retailer.

But there were no Pride shirts to be found. When we asked about them, a store employee seemed just as confused as we were. Many, many people had been asking about them, but the store had none, nor word on if they would be receiving them. With a story that we helped bring to national attention (Our article was shared on Facebook thousands of times, and many major news outlets linked to our story), we were quite displeased that we had heaped gratitude on a company who appeared to be simply raking in good press for no good reason.

So where are the Pride shirts? The company is now saying they can be found at only 26 out of Old Navy’s 1000+ stores. Seriously?!

We had previously written that “The designs, available in men’s, women’s and children’s, will be sold in all 1,035 Old Navy locations. Which means of course that teens, moms and families across the country will encounter the shirts in malls, practically the modern equivalent of the town square.” Boy were we wrong.

It’s fantastic that Old Navy is participating in the project, but by putting close to zero muscle behind it, the entire Pride promotion comes off as a sham (if not a scam). Old Navy has created a groundswell of positive press without delivering the goods to the LGBT customers and their allies logically seeking out the highly publicized products.

If you think that I am being harsh, and that the retailer still deserves praise for positioning itself as an ally of the gay community, consider this; the shirts aren’t even available for sale online. And of the 26 stores that are advertised as selling the line, the one I visited neither had them, nor knew if they would ever be getting them.

All of this begs the question, did Old Navy even actually create the Pride shirts? Or was the gay community just bamboozled by a brilliant marketing campaign?

If you’ve seen them in person, please send a photo our way. As of writing this, we’ve been unable to find a single photo of the shirts in store, or on a customer who purchased them.

Fishy, fishy.

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