NEWS:  Anyone hoping to own a rare piece of Nas memorabilia may have lost that opportunity last week when a Gap store manager was disciplined for attempting to violate company policy by distributing a Nas portrait with his father, Olu Dara, to another employee.  Even though the Nas ad was on display in numerous Gap stores across the country to promote the retailer’s Holiday 2012 campaign called “Love Comes In Every Shade” many locations recently took the large poster board down as customers, and even employees attempted to put in their requests to make it a part of their home collection.  Last month, a Gap store manager at the Americana Manhasset shopping center in Long Island confirmed that even though the large portrait was still hanging in the store it already had an owner.

“One of our employees already asked for that poster so it will go to him,” said Yvonne, the store’s manager.  “Anyone who wants it should really direct their questions to brand management.  It’s out of my hands.”

THE TRUTH:  While the store manager was trying to direct all inquiries to Gap’s brand management division she didn’t realize that by already allocating the Nas photo to an employee she was violating Gap’s policies and procedures.

“Technically, we aren’t supposed to give any marketing materials away,” said Tom, who works for one of Gap’s California stores.  “Sometimes people will take it out of the garbage but it’s copywritten by the photographer that shot it and won the rights to it.  We often try our best to destroy it.”

Travis from Banana Republic’s store customer service division was quite concerned when he heard of the matter and said that he hopes to reiterate the guidelines to all employees.

“Store managers aren’t allowed to make their own decision on what to do with marketing materials,” added Travis.  “We don’t own the pictures.  We are paying for the display and its fixtures.  Our store is the only place that these images should be.”

Gap is currently on its second spring marketing campaign since the Nas holiday advertisement was launched.  After more than 100 phone calls were made to Gap stores across the country to inquire about how they choose to handle promotional pictures, it was a surprise to find out that more than half of the employees who provided their input had no idea who Nas was, even in cases where his image was still hanging on the wall.

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