Black-owned sportswear brand Actively Black is calling out its competitor Fabletics for tacky business practices after learning the giant athleisure company is piggybacking off of their success to pull in customers and profits.
Actively Black called out the corporation in a blistering post after learning that its company name was a targeted SEO term in Fabletics ads. At the heart of the issue is a call-to-action for large corporations to stop using Black culture and its trends for profit, especially during Black History Month.
“Now, there is nothing illegal about bidding on Actively Black as a keyword for Google Ads, so this is not an issue of legality but rather morality. Your company has a $5 billion valuation, so clearly, our 3-year-old Black-owned brand does not have the budget to outbid you for our own name on Google Ads. The question is why? Is your corporate greed not being satisfied?” read the brand’s post, in part.
It continued, “Was your marketing team not able to come up with an authentic way to reach the Black audience for Black History Month other than using a Black-owned brand’s name in paid search ads? You knew people would be googling Actively Black. And you knew you had the budget to pay for the search term ‘Actively Black’ to show up when people were looking for us. Given that we are in the same athleisure space and that this is Black History Month, we doubt this was a mistake.”
The post would go on to tag celebrity Fabletics ambassadors Kevin Hart and Kelly Rowland and social media influencer Kayla Nicole in hopes that it would expose how the company is “colonizing a small Black-owned brand name for their financial gain.”
Actively Black was founded in 2020 by former athlete Lanny Smith in the wake of the national uprising that resulted from the death of George Floyd. The brand has gained the support of athletic juggernauts Allen Iverson, Dwyane Wade and Stephen Curry, to name a few, as well as countless other celebrities.
Last year, it made its New York Fashion Week debut, further garnering support for diversity in the industry. Though still in its infancy, the company has surpassed a valuation of $30 million and consistently used portions of its annual profits to reinvest in the community.