Hurricane Sandy has now touched down in the states, flooding swathes of the east coast, knocking out power, killing over a dozen people and generally reminding us that nature is the boss. As a company, the best practice in such a scenario is to send your thoughts out to those affected and give some money to charity. What you don’t do, is try and profit from it.

American Apparel has invoked a Twitter riot by launching a ‘20% off’ sale that’s designed to last as long as the devastating weather.

The “Hurricane Sandy Sale” was tweeted out with the words: “In case you’re bored during the storm, 20% (sic) off everything for the next 36 hours.”

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And that’s angered a lot of people. Search ‘American Apparel’ on Twitter (or just click that link), and you’re likely to see a torrent of abuse, with users calling for boycotts, or for the store to take its 20 per cent and donate it to charity. Oops.

Of course, this isn’t the first time a company has tried to squeeze a profit from bad news. Last year Microsoft faced scorn from the, *sigh*, ‘Twittersphere’, for promoting Amy Winehouse’s album ‘Back to Black’ on Zune just hours after her untimely death.

Goes to show: it’s very easy to put your foot right in it on Twitter, which is exactly why you need to keep an eye on whoever’s in charge of your account.

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