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Duluth Business “Global Village Duluth” Uses Controversial Martin Luther King Day Marketing Tactic

Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Millions of Americans celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day today, remembering the legacy left by the iconic civil rights advocate. One Duluth business decided to use the civic holiday dedicated King to use what many are calling questionable marketing.

Global Village of Duluth shared a post on their Facebook page Friday (January 17) that has since drawn much criticism from some of the business’s followers. Many commenters called the post “offensive” and “misguided”, calling out the business for insensitivity.

The campaign is one of a few themed sales with marketing on their Facebook page that includes a “Polar Vortex Sale“. This is reportedly the fourth year the shop has held the sale, but based on the sudden negative feedback, ownership plan to discontinue the sale.

The store’s Facebook page exhibits posts for two other MLK Day sales (seen below). While the previous posts did not draw the same attention as this year’s, both posts (from 2012 and 2013) do exhibit a comment from an individual unsure of the store’s pitch.



The owner tells the Northland’s Newscenter that “We we did it [the sale] to honor and respect someone we admire. It’s a little more than offensive that places have Columbus day sales and so this was our alternative to that.” Below is a photo of one of the signs that were posted in the store for the sale.

Global Village Facebook Page

What do you think of this Facebook marketing? Is it insensitive? Is it worse this year than last? Let us know in our poll questions below and leave a comment in the comments section.

Update: Store Owner Issues Apology on Facebook That Draws More Criticism - Click to Read


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