Metal bands and their die-hard fans are not happy with H&M's newest project: the Swedish fashion chain launched a collection of T-shirts based on fictional metal bands. A huge social media backlash, on Facebook and YouTube, immediately followed.
"H&M doesn't stand for Heavy Metal"
Bands like Metallica, Guns 'N Roses or Slayer have their shirts on sale at H&M, but the clothing company took its newest project a step further: it designed T-shirts with their own logos, based on fictional metal bands.
Actual metal fans did not like this new approach one bit and they immediately hit back on social media: they launched Facebook pages for these fictional bands and even posted Youtube videos displaying of the bands' unsavoury 'behaviour': one band is shown to have a dispute with the French government, another promotes hate and violence and another is openly a fan of a neo-Nazi movement.
H&M has emphasized its designers "did not draw inspiration from existing bands", but marketeers point out the dangers of using a (often) dark-edged subculture: "There is so much controversial stuff which is definitely not suitable for mass marketing", they said. Metalheads also despise "posers", leading campaigns like this to backfire...