- FabFitFun is in hot water with some customers after using a crude promo code.
- The code — we’ll call it GFY — echoed what Elon Musk recently said X advertisers could do.
- “I’ve never known a company & its owners to show so much public contempt for their customers,” one Reddit commenter said.
FabFitFun, the subscription box company aimed at women, is facing a backlash from some of its customers over an ad it ran on Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter.
The ad echoed what Elon Musk said in an interview last week when he told advertisers who would drop X to “go fuck” themselves.
The FabFitFun post, which was run as a paid ad on X, promised that the company was pledging an extra $100,000 in advertising on the X platform “in support of its free speech ideals.”
It also offered new customers a free gift if they signed up with code: “GoFuckYourself.”
Many customers were not amused. In response to the ad on X, some said they planned on canceling their subscriptions.
FabFitFun did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Sophie Smith-Doré, a food relationship and nutrition coach in Ontario, Canada, had been a subscriber for about four years, and said she was generally happy with her boxes, which she considered a little treat for herself. But after seeing the ad, she said she canceled.
“That ad is elevating a platform that actively and intentionally creates unsafe spaces for marginalized people,” she told Business Insider. “I am a mama to a trans teen. This is not a game for me. This is very real.”
Amanda Andres tweeted a response to the FabFitFun X account, announcing she was canceling. She told Business Insider she had been a subscriber since 2020, but was done after seeing the ad. “I was confused why a ‘women’s lifestyle brand’ was tossing their hat into the Musk controversy,” she said.
On Reddit, a post with more than 400 comments discussed the ad, with most people who had responded saying they planned to cancel.
“I’ve never known a company & its owners to show so much public contempt for their customers who are literally paying their wages.” said one Redditor.
“Yay free speech! The Freedom to contact customer service and cancel, and if they don’t work with you, you can freely speak to the bank and initiate a dispute <3” said another.
Some customers were so surprised by the ad that they weren’t sure if it was real and went to FabFitFun’s community forum to ask.
Initially, a Fab Fit Fun employee on the forums said that the promo code seemed like something the company wouldn’t put out, and was checking.
Later, she confirmed it was real, but that the company had removed it.
A message from FabFitFun’s three founders was posted later on the Forum, where they apologized for the “poorly thought out” code. The forum is private, but a user showed Business Insider its contents.
The message, which was posted on the members forum, read:
To Our FabFitFun Family, First of all, we would like to express our sincere apologies for the recent ad that appeared on X. Clearly, this was a mistake – a poorly thought out attempt to participate in a viral moment through a marketing test – and for that we take ownership and responsibility. Without defending the decision because we don’t believe it was a good one, we do want to share a bit of context. As we continue to expand our marketing channels, we decided to test ads and allocate a budget to X. One of the concepts proposed was a riff on Elon Musk’s interview last week that garnered a tremendous amount of attention. However, the content and tone of the ad was out of place and out of character and is not representative of who we are as a brand. Our goal as a company has always been to bring value and spark joy and this ad did the opposite. We promise to do better. We are deeply appreciative of our members, partners and employees and grateful for your feedback, which we have taken to heart. With our sincerest apologies and deepest appreciation, Dan, Mike and Katie
FabFitFun was founded in 2010 by brothers Daniel and Michael Broukhim and editor-in-chief Katie Ann Echevarria Rosen Kitchens. The company, targeted at millennial women, ships customers a quarterly box of goods with an assortment of skincare, beauty, and other items.
Since Elon Musk took over X, there has been a decline in traditional advertisers, wary of the changes that Musk was making to the platform.
After Linda Yaccarino took over as CEO, she was able to woo some advertisers back, but a few weeks ago, a Media Matters report asserted that ads were being shown next to extremist content. (X has disputed this.)
Not long after, Musk tweeted “this is the actual truth” in response to an antisemitic conspiracy theory.
In response, companies like Disney, Apple, and others dropped their ads on X, which led to his proclamation that they should go “G-F-Y!”