Anthropologie markets its "Trinket & Treasure" line of candlesticks as being unique home decor made from antique collectibles. The problem for Anthropologie is that a couple of the candlesticks it initially offered customers featured collectibles that many people viewed as overtly racist and demeaning to both blacks and Asians. Images of one of the candlesticks captured before Anthropologie removed them from its website show a caricatured Asian individual at the base of the candlestick as well as an unmistakable mammy figure near the middle. After removing the offensive candlesticks, Anthropologie offered an explanation to the website BuzzFeed that stated,
"An independent artisan makes these one-of-a-kind candlesticks from vintage ceramics. Unfortunately two that we received included extremely inappropriate figurines, and we have removed them from our website. We sincerely regret the offense we have caused."
It is interesting to note that Anthropologie's parent company, Urban Outfitters, has endured considerable controversy on several occasions for questionable marketing strategies and offensive and/or racist products of its own. For example, in 2003, Urban Outfitters sold the board game "Ghettopoly" online and in its retail locations before pulling the product after widespread protest.
Link 1 (accessed 1/15/2013)
Link 2 (accessed 1/15/2013)