Ann Taylor Rips Off Blogger's Name For a Dress — And Fails To Tell HerCecily Kellogg
In January, blogger Lindsay Ferrier of Suburban Turmoil was afforded a rare honor — getting to interview a presidential candidate on television. It ended up being a big story that made national headlines, and because Lindsay is a style blogger lots of her fans were dying to know not only about what Newt Gingrich was like in person, but all about the Ann Taylor dress she was wearing.
So, naturally, she wrote about it in one of her posts on The Stir. She talked about how beautifully the dress fit and dubbed it “The Miracle Dress” as opposed to Ann Taylor’s name: “3/4 Sleeve Side Tie Dress.”
You can imagine her surprise this week when she saw that Ann Taylor had changed the name of the dress to… The Miracle Dress.
I asked her how she felt upon seeing the name change to the dress.
“I was definitely startled! I had exchanged a few e-mails at the beginning of the year with Ann Taylor’s social media team about how much they loved my ‘Miracle Dress concept’ as they called it. I thought I had a good working relationship with the marketing team I collaborated with them on a subsequent post so I was very surprised that they didn’t notify me of their plans to rename the dress.”
I asked her is she’d want monetary compensation for the concept.
“Absolutely not — I would have appreciated a courtesy e-mail letting me know what I had ‘inspired,’ and maybe a Facebook shout-out would have been nice. To happen across the dress online, though, with no communication whatsoever from Ann Taylor, just didn’t feel right.”
Ann Taylor reached out to her after her updated post on The Stir, so I asked her how the conversation went.
“The PR Director for Ann Taylor told me that my post had inspired the social media team, and that AT began referring to the dress internally as the ‘miracle dress.’ He said that the term ‘miracle dress’ is used widely and has no specific ownership, but I assured him I wasn’t trying to claim the term as my own or get anything out of it. I said that, as the stated inspiration for the ‘Ann Taylor Miracle Dress,’ I would have simply appreciated being kept in the loop about what was going on, and credited in some small way for the idea.”
I asked her if this might change how she blogs about brands.
“No the only reason I think this is worth talking about is that it might improve communications between bloggers and brands in the future.”
Will she stop shopping at Ann Taylor?
“I’m disappointed in how this situation was handled, but I’m hopeful that it won’t happen again. And I can’t stop shopping at Ann Taylor. I. Just. Can’t.”
What do you think? How should Ann Taylor have handled this?