Lands’ End infuriated parents who went to the mailbox and found GQ magazines with a topless model and such helpful articles as “The Most Important Moments in Naked TV History” and “The Gentleman’s Guide to Anal Sex.”
Here’s one mother’s tale, from Building Cathedrals blog:
Upon getting our mail on Saturday we found a pornographic magazine addressed to my name, followed by “A Land’s End Bonus”. Thanks be to God that our boys had not gotten the mail that day, as they usually do to help their pregnant mama. We were horrified that this could end up in our mailbox via ordering school uniforms from our sweet part time Christian school.
If you want to see the cover that upset this momma, click here.
A call to Land’s End Customer service revealed that any customer placing an on line order of over $100 could be sent this as a “free bonus”. Land’s End was not overly apologetic and claimed that it wasn’t their fault, but said that they could unsubscribe us from this “free bonus”. When I asked about other families, I was told by Land’s End customer service that they would each have to call to be removed from the list (the phone number is: 800.963.4816).
I immediately emailed all of our class lists and notified all moms not to let their kids get the mail since most moms would have had to place an order of $100 from Land’s End for the school year. Several had already received the magazine.
An outcry from other mothers who received the same magazine caused Land’s End to apologize. As of Monday evening, they reportedly have stopped shipping all GQ issues. Here’s a letter from Michele Casper, Sr. Director Public Relations:
I would like to start by extending my most sincere apologies regarding the latest issue of GQ magazine that you received in the mail this past weekend. We made a serious error and we are truly sorry for this unfortunate situation. It was never our intention to offend our customers who received this offer.
Before I go any further I want to assure you that your feedback to our call center and blog post has not gone unnoticed. We have been working today within our teams to rectify the situation as quickly as possible. We are also sending a letter to customers tomorrow morning letting them know that if they have not already received the magazine they could receive one this week and to be on alert. What’s more, we have removed all of our customers’ names from the GQ subscription list and have instead switched the subscription to Condé Nast Traveler magazine.
As a company, we are extremely apologetic that our customers have received this particular magazine on our behalf. In no way do the images or articles featured in the magazine reflect our company values.
Kudos to Lands’ End for being responsive to this unfortunate situation and to the momma who brought it to everyone’s attention.
Here is their official e-mail to warn parents of the magazines that have already been shipped:
Dear Valued School Uniform Customer,
I would like to start by extending my most sincere apologies. We are aware that you have received or will be receiving shortly the July issue of GQ magazine with a suggestive cover. This was part of our recent customer bonus offer that was given to all customers who spent over $100 from July 9 to July 16. We are truly sorry this magazine was sent to you. There are simply no excuses; this was a mistake. Please be aware of the suggestive GQ cover and take the necessary steps as you and your family members check your mailbox in the next few days.
When we entered into a year-long partnership with Condé Nast, our goal was to reward our valued customers with magazine subscriptions highlighting fashion and lifestyle topics. We have been including subscriptions to select publications such as Self, Vogue, and Glamour, and since we did not want to exclude our male customers, we included GQ in the list of magazines. In no way, did we intend for this action to offend our most valued customers.
As a company, we are extremely apologetic that you have received this particular magazine on our behalf. While we are unable to halt the GQ issues that have already mailed, effective immediately we have removed all of our customers’ names from the GQ subscription list and have instead switched the subscriptions to Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Please be assured that your name has not been sold. If you would like to continue to receive GQ magazine or unsubscribe from Condé Nast Traveler, please call 1-800-685-0089 or send an email to GuaranteedPeriod@landsend.com.
We appreciate and value you as a customer and are committed to resolving this unfortunate matter. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions or concerns.
In other words, if you have ordered school uniforms for your little ones, maybe you get check your own mail for the next few days.