Paul Frank and Native American Stereotypes: A Case of Misappropriation
(5 pages of text)
Paul Frank Industries (PFI), a privately held company based in the United States, finds itself in hot water after social media criticizes a Hollywood marketing event hosted by PFI in which Native American stereotypes were prominently featured. When photos of the event are released on Facebook, two bloggers bring attention to the event through their social media channels, and the reaction quickly spreads throughout the Native American community and beyond. In the wake of this public relations nightmare, students are asked to reflect on the actions taken by Paul Frank Industries prior to, during and after the marketing event.
This case is best used as part of a marketing, ethics or public relations course. This case can also be used in courses in management of cultural industries, such as fashion and music. The discussion topics presented in this case include public relations, ethical issues, Native American issues, fashion management and social media.
United States, Large, 2012
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