The Attempted Headhunt for Jen at the Appleton B&BW

On Nov. 4 2012, a national tragedy occurred – in suburban Wisconsin, a woman named Angela sat down to film a rant video about a local Bath and Body Works not having two candles in stock that she was in relentless pursuit of. The video, which runs at 11:49, begins with a warning about how the coming video is going to be “extremely explicit, so if you don’t like swearing or angry people from Wisconsin, turn your mother effing camera off. Now.” Clearly, something is about to hit the fan.

Angela’s video chronicles an experience at the Appleton, Wisconsin Bath and Body Works store – she talks about how she called to four of the stores (Appleton, Green Bay, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac) , inquiring about the Winter Candy Apple and Iced Gingerbread three-wick candles. None of the stores had the particular candles she had wanted, and called from the release date of October 26th onward, eventually leaving her phone number with an employee from Appleton.

The Appleton manager, Jen, called Angela one day while Angela was shopping with her Mom and let her know that they had her candles in – or so she thought. Upon arriving to the store, Jen informed her that her candles were not in stock, but rather the smaller candles in the same scent were. Angela then demands free products, in which Jen offered her coupons and referred her to the 800 number at the top of Angela’s return receipt.

This is where “I MIGHT Boycott Bath & Body Works RANT!” rears it’s ugly head – Angela initiates a personal attack against Jen, claiming she’s going to contact her district manager, and rounds out the video by saying “please share this video so everybody can know, we can have everybody know, in the state of Wisconsin and around the whole United States that Jen from Appleton needs to check her s**t out. Bye.”

To date, the video has received 1,634,166 views and has spurred internet memes, reenactment videos, and a Buzzfeed article – so why isn’t it considered a PR disaster for Bath and Body Works? Why didn’t a subsequent boycott of the Appleton store take hold?

Angela is ridiculous in the first place – the video that was meant to burn Jen and the company she was employed to ultimately exemplified the reaches of retail customer service – Jen apologized, explained what happened and referred Angela to an 800 number that would help her further. The vast majority of Youtube comments side with Jen, with variations of user eprt77’s comment “People like you are the reason people in retail hate their jobs,” ringing through the comment section of the video.

According to Angela’s second video referring to the incident, the company followed up with two instrumental steps – they sent Angela the two candles that she had wanted in the mail, for free, and kept Jen employed at the Appleton store. By doing this, they appeased both the select few that sided with the rant video, and made sure that retail workers and other people who saw Angela as ridiculous and petty looked at the Bath and Body Works Corporate favorably.

The flag never had to fly at half mast for Bath and Body Works, though Angela’s online persona (which has sprawled into a Periscope-and-Youtube fueled mockery) is marred permanently. By attempting to ruin the reputation and career of Jen from the Appleton store, she really hurt her own brand.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s