After shocking customers by stocking a greeting card that reads, "Don't get mad, take lithium," clothes retailer Joy not only failed to see what the issue was, but went on to further offend customers with an inflammatory Twitter response.
The card's design raised an angry response from customers, with the message being deemed insensitive and offensive to those suffering with bipolar disorder and other mental health issues. Lithium is used as an ingredient in mood-stabilising drugs for psychiatric conditions.
But the real shock to most customers was the response by the company on their Twitter account.
Instead of apologising for stocking the card - which may have been nothing more than poor judgement - Joy's media spokesperson showed no remorse.
Quite the opposite, in fact, as the store proceeded to go much further across the line between what is and isn't acceptable with their outrageous comments to the concerned customer.
Below is the exchange between the Twitter user who raised the issue, Cat, who used two separate twitter handles during the exchange (@poeticfeminist and @thechessboard1) both of which are now inactive and Joy (@joythestore):
It started yesterday when twitter user Cat (@poeticfeminist) said, "@joythestore also, do you realise that this card is very offensive to people with bipolar disorder?"
Contrary to the expected apology, the response from Joy was unsympathetic and confrontational:
@poeticfeminist Then if you know anyone with bipolar disorder, don't buy it for them. PROBLEM SOLVED.— JOY (@joythestore) September 20, 2014
Cat (@thechessboard1) proceeded to ask. "@joythestore what about the people with bipolar disorder who see this in your store?"
To which Joy replied:
@poeticfeminist They'll like it one minute and hate it the next?— JOY (@joythestore) September 20, 2014
Joy took to Twitter with a final comment (at least from them) on the issue, which had a distinctly different tone to the previous posts and is the only tweet from the exchange which is still available on twitter:
We at JOY like to start conversations and create dialogue, we try to be irreverent, sometimes we get it wrong. Please accept our apologies.— JOY (@joythestore) September 21, 2014
However, it was too late to placate most Twitter users, who saw through the 'apology', which failed to accept responsibility for the real issue, continuing to undermine the topic of mental health as no more than a 'conversation starter'.
@joythestore Create conversations?? Is that what you call stigmatising mental health? Your comments were disgusting.— Charlotte Parker (@_Charl_Parker) September 21, 2014
Biggest ever sorry not sorry from @joythestore .... slow hand clap.— Sarah Caseberry (@Sarah_Saza) September 21, 2014
With one Twitter user asking the two questions on everyone's mind:
Does this mean you've withdrawn the card from sale? @joythestore— Bea (@BeaZapp) September 21, 2014
Have you taken any form of action against the employee who sent the offensive tweets? @joythestore— Bea (@BeaZapp) September 21, 2014
Joy has yet to respond. What do you think?