The Worst Social Media Screw-Ups of 2012

It’s easy to feel for brands in social media. On the one hand, they’re told to “act human.” Then, like all humans, they screw up — and people jump all over them.

There were a couple of situations that come to mind this year as real fails from a social media standpoint. These screw-ups may seem small, but they embarrass the brand and then live on the Internet forever, just waiting around for a journalist like me to shine light on them, over and over again. Digiday combed through them and found the top five we’d never want to happen to us.

1. McDonald’s
In January, McDonald’s rolled out a campaign that centered on the #McDStories hashtag. The brand was asking people to share their favorite McDonald’s memories on Twitter. But the hashtag was more of bashtag. Twitter users shared stories like, “The last time I ate a McFish I vomited for an hour.”


Image via Twitter 

2. American Apparel
American Apparel had an ad for a clothing sale, which it promoted via social media and through an email blast. It offered 20 percent off to customers “bored during the storm.” Consumers went nuts and aired their emotions on Twitter.


Image via Mashable 

3. British Airways
British Airways retweeted a racist message that Twitter user Gordon Qiu made to vent his frustration over the cancellation of his flight. His Twitter account is protected, so we can’t get the actual tweet. But Qiu was having a conversation with a friend on Twitter regarding the cancelled flight and wrote, “Go back to your f…ing country you gook.” After retweeting, British Airways apologized for the mistake.


Image via Olery 

4. Chrysler
Chrysler is super proud of its Detroit heritage. In fact, it’s 2012 Super Bowl commercial was all about Detroit. Then, in April, the car maker posted the following tweet on Twitter.


I
mage via Jalopnik

The tweet was later deleted and Chrysler apologized.

5. Kenneth Cole
Kenneth Cole, the chairman of the brand Kenneth Cole, often tweets using the company’s official Twitter account and did so right after the protests erupted in Egypt.


Image via CNN

About two hours later, Cole apologized, but this is still a really insensitive post and should not have been tweeted to begin with.

Main Image via Shutterstock

https://digiday.com/?p=28395

More in Marketing

Why — and how — ESL/FACEIT Group is spinning up its own esports streaming platform

Esports companies are still trying to figure out how to make competitive gaming profitable, and it’s encouraging news for a major league operator to dip its toes into the livestreaming game in order to more effectively monetize its core product. But EFG’s announcement also raises questions about the technology powering the venture. 

Person gaming

Candy giant Butterfinger doubles down on gaming with streamers and creators to reach younger audiences

Candy brand Butterfinger is making a bigger bet on gaming, increasing its media spend this year on gaming creators and streamers to boost brand awareness with younger shoppers.

Amazon wants a bigger slice of the DSP ad tech market

Over the last year or so, ad execs have noted how much Amazon’s ad tech has changed to become omnichannel in nature — i.e. more of a competitor to the two largest DSPs: The Trade Desk and Google’s DV360.