Tom Bihn, a Port Angeles-based company that designs, manufactures and sells laptop bags, messenger bags, backpacks and briefcases, attachés a wash-care label inside most of products it sells.
Because Tom Bihn products are sold into Canada, the care instructions are in English and French. It was discovered this week that the French translation continues after the washing instructions to read: “NOUS SOMMES DESOLES QUE NOTRE PRESIDENT SOIT UN IDIOT. NOUS N’AVONS PAS VOTE POUR LUI.” Translated, the message reads, “‘We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We didn’t vote for him.’”
Apparently, the message began as an inside joke among seamstresses and staff at the Tom Bihn factory, intended to poke fun at company’s founder and president, Tom Bihn, who recently incorporated the company and was elected its president.
Tom Bihn, the President of TOM BIHN INC., has issued the following statement:
“I am terribly sorry that this inside joke has been misconstrued to be a slur on any other president. The joke is on me, and I think it’s funny.”
Tom Bihn products are proudly made in Port Angeles, WA, U.S.A.
The company is asking anybody who wishes to express an opinion about the tag to visit their forums. There weren’t many replies at the time of this posting, but apparently Tom Bihn Bags has just released this information today.
To me, the apology seems rather convenient. I can’t imagine that thousands of these tags were printed and attached to the products without any upper management finding out about it.
If I didn’t know any better I’d bet that it was a ploy meant to draw publicity to the company.
Like I said in my first post on this issue, the company could have at least had the nerve to publish this sentiment somewhere a little more noticeable then the back of a product tag, in French no less.