Earlier this week a Target shopper sparked a controversy on Twitter after discovering that the same gray dress was listed as “Manatee Gray” in the plus-size version and simply “Heather Gray” in the “Missy” category. The company is now scrambling to apologize for the snafu, saying it uses the manatee color name all over the site. That makes us wonder — what other totally inappropriate and/or wacky color names are floating around out there?
Target apologized directly to the woman on Twitter as well as to customers yesterday, with a spokesman telling Today.com that the incident was an “unintended oversight.”
“We never want to offend any of our guests. We apologize for any discomfort that we may have caused,” she said. “We are in the process of fixing the discrepancy and updating Target.com so the gray dress will be available in all styles. We’re working on updating our systems right now. We’ll use this instance as a learning experience so we can do better moving forward,”
It should be noted that Manatee Grey is a seasonal color that is found all over Target.com — for towels, T-shirts and more. What’s more, as Jeff Bercovici at Forbes found out from a spokesman, the mix-up in this case was because two different teams of buyers were working on the lines for missy and plus-size and simply input different color names.
This all could’ve been avoided if someone out there in the retail world decided “Hey, it might not be a good idea to use any color names that call to mind large, blubbery mammals.” Instead, Manatee Gray is a thing.
Have you come across other odd or otherwise inappropriate product colors? Perhaps a “Blue Whale Blue” or “Hippo Pink”? If you’ve got some contenders for awful color names — actual names you’ve seen listed on retail sites — send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line BAD COLOR NAMES. Please include a screengrab if you can and where you spotted it.