Lululemon, the yoga workout clothier is in a heated debate with its devoted customers. The retailer has printed the question Who is John Galt? on its shopping bags and customers are angry.
This is the opening line of the famous 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged by the high priestess of free markets and self-determination Ayn Rand (above). John Galt is the novel’s self-interested protagonist obsessed with personal freedom.
Lululemon’s founder says Atlas Shrugged had a profound effect on him as a teenager and the bags are visual reminders “to live a life we love and conquer the epidemic of mediocrity.”
Yoga devotees are up in arms; claiming the culture of self-interest, typified by Rand, is the opposite of yoga’s core value of community .
The PR Verdict: “B minus” for Lululemon.
Why has Lululemon CEO backed off talking to the press? Recent coverage has the firm declining comment. A blog and Facebook are not enough. It is an interesting debate now that it’s started. The yoga club will come round.
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