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No small public relations problem

By Suzanne Spurgeon  August 24, 2010

I just watched a report on WSB-TV (Atlanta) that has me fired up.  An overweight woman was charged $5.00 extra at a nail salon in Lithonia, Georgia, because she is "fat".  Clear cut case of discrimination in my book.  What is amazing is the salon owner did a TV interview and admits what her salon did.  Her excuse?  The special chairs have a weight limit of 200 pounds and cost $2500 to repair.  Kim Tan doesn't think that's fair.  She went on to say, if she had seen the large woman before the manicure began, she would have turned her away.  The humiliated customer plans a protest outside the salon.

If I were giving Ms. Tan public relations advice, I would tell her to apologize publically and announce a change of salon policy immediately. Some free manicures are also a good idea.  I  have been to many nail salons and have seen large women and some men having treatments. Never seen one break a chair yet.  The salon owner may think this story will just go away.  It won't.  Her TV interview only made things worse.  It would have been a golden opportunity to right a wrong.  She blew it. 

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