HomeControversyFIGS Scrubs Controversy: FIGS Issues Statement of Regret Over "Insensitive" Ad, But...

FIGS Scrubs Controversy: FIGS Issues Statement of Regret Over “Insensitive” Ad, But Customers Aren’t Satisfied!

Commercials are powerful marketing tools because of the impression they leave on consumers and their decision to buy or utilize the advertised product. However, the inverse is also true, as one corporation discovered after a social media storm erupted over an ad featuring a female doctor. The Figs brand of scrubs accomplished the following.

What Started The Figs Scrubs Controversy?

Figs Scrubs Controversy

As a result of advertising posted on their website, the medical gear firm Figs, known for its fashionable scrubs, is in a bit of trouble. Some viewers of the video ad, which aimed at female doctors (in particular, those practicing osteopathic medicine), criticized the corporation for its sexism.

The corporation responded to some confidential requests for help by posting about it on social media. The company issued an apology on Twitter, writing, “A lot of you guys have pointed out an insensitive video we had on our site – we are truly sorry for any hurt this has caused you, especially our female DOs (Who Are Wonderful!).” Founded by women, “FIGS” exists solely to “make you guys feel wonderful.”

We apologize for our lapse in judgment. “We will always consider what you have to say because we love you guys so much!”

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The dispute revolved over advertising for the company’s neon pink scrubs, which featured a lady. Yet, she entered the scene while holding an inverted copy of “Medical Terminology for Dummies.” The camera then pans down to the waist of the woman wearing the jeans, revealing her “DO”-adorned employee ID card.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (or “DOs,” an abbreviation for “doctors of osteopathic medicine”) are certified medical professionals who have completed training in an accredited osteopathic medical school in the United States, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Figs issued an apology for the scrub advertisement, but the situation remained contentious.

A prospective doctor tweeted that the company’s treatment of female doctors was “unforgivable,” adding that she was “currently DO student and the disdain for female physicians and DOs demonstrated in this ad” (attached because it was taken from your website). I won’t be buying anything from FIGS, and I hope that other people in the medical supply industry feel the same way.

On its Facebook page, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine also responded to the contentious advertisement. “We are appalled that in 2020, women physicians and doctors of osteopathic medicine are still insulted in careless and uneducated marketing initiatives,” they stated in a statement.”

Further, “A company like FIGS that wants us to spend money on its product should be ashamed for pushing these stereotypes,” the complaint said. We need to be treated with the dignity we’re due and apologize openly.”

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As criticism mounted, Figs issued a second statement on social media, in which it admitted to having discussed the ad with the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and pledged to donate $100,000 to the AOA so that it could continue its mission.

Some commenters noted their belief that the AOA’s threat to sue Figs for slander was the impetus for the company to take that step. A Twitter user stated, “The fact that AOA threatened legal action for libel less than 24 hours before you guys gave them $100,000 is not comforting. (This is not to say that AOA doesn’t do amazing things.) Your bigotry is not limited to this advertisement, but permeates your whole approach to advertising and product design.”

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Social media users noted that the company’s past advertising, especially those targeting women in the medical industry, wasn’t much better than the recent attack on DOs. Another user of Twitter wrote, “And now for a montage of scenes from their earlier videos. As expected, I was unable to locate any videos of their male models dancing (while eating bananas or singing into stethoscopes) or bunny hopping or acting strangely while wearing gloves or jumping on a trampoline.”

Figs was founded in 2013 by Trina Spear and Heather Hasson, as reported by NBC News.

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