Backpedal Award for "We didn't really mean it THAT way" may go to a Minnesota retailer, Knitcraft Corporation, who made comments that sure looked like they were saying they were the company Steve Jobs bought his trademark black turtleneck sweaters from.

The founded of Knitcraft, Bernhard Brenner and vice president Mary Bergin, certainly gave the impression that Knitcraft was the company Steve Jobs got his black sweaters at. Critics immediately accused them of making up the story (for lack of a more polite phrase) to simply boost sales. Bergin countered the claim and said they never exactly claimed that Jobs was their customer.

"We have never been in touch with Jobs," Bergin told the Minneapolis Star Tribune ( http://bit.ly/mSvmys). "We, like everyone, have seen on the Internet for years that he wore our product. But we don't know who said it."

The quote in question was made by Brenner when he was interviewed by the New York Post on October 6, 2011 and the quote read like this, "The man made quite an impact, even outside of computers," said St. Croix founder Bernhard Brenner, 72, who sold Jobs about 12 of the shirts a year.

In the best "I'm wiggling out of this story" in recent history, Bergin said Brenner's statement didn't imply that Knitcraft had any sales direct to Jobs. "What was stated is that Mr. Brenner `would estimate he could have purchased a dozen a year,'" she said.

Bergin herself was quoted by the Winona Daily News saying Jobs was a customer. The newspaper's story included these two sentences: "He has always been upfront that he likes wearing our product," said Mary Bergin, vice president of Knitcraft. Jobs purchased a few dozen turtlenecks every year for the past 15 years, she said.
Bergin said she, too, was misquoted. What she actually said was "several reporting agencies indicate that Steve Jobs has been upfront that he likes wearing our product," she told the Star Tribune.

Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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