The Weeknd drops H&M after it makes a colossally stupid marketing decision

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      When the Weeknd played Vancouver on his Starboy tour last October, he was also seriously flogging clothing for Swedish clothing retailer H&M on the side.

      The business partnership was on display all over his Instagram account and this wasn't anything that concerned his fans.

      The suave and stylish Toronto megastar was able to pull this off without enduring the type of backlash other celebrities sometimes receive when they are hawking products. That's because the Weeknd, a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye, is so talented and so very hip, as was the H&M brand until yesterday.

      That's when the Weeknd severed ties with the multinational clothier. It's all because it ran a racist ad featuring a black kid in a hoodie with the words "coolest monkey in the jungle". Not cool.

      It was a stunningly stupid decision by a company that usually makes all the right moves to appeal to young, fashionable, urban dwellers who aren't always flush with cash.

      The Weekend publicly declared that he "woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed" by the photo below.

      H&M has offered a grovelling apology on its Twitter feed. But it's unlikely to stave off damage to the brand in cities ranging from Toronto to Los Angeles to Paris.

      In the first day of the controversy, the company's share price dropped 1.69 percent.

      Billionaire investor Warren Buffett once said: "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."

      It's a lesson not lost on H&M executives this morning.

      Meanwhile, basketball star LeBron James has tinkered with the image to put the child model in a better light. You can see the results below: