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A Cautionary Tale: Top 5 Worst Brands On Twitter


With the use of social media skyrocketing, brands are finally seeing the benefit of talking to consumers on their level, maintaining a succinct voice that allows us to connect to big powerhouse brands on a more human level.

This being said, many are still learning the ropes on grabbing their customer’s attention with humorous or newsworthy messages – especially on Twitter.

With a platform so easy to use, many don’t even second-guess their widespread comments, in hopes to stay current and valid which usually causes quite a stir on the ‘Twittersphere’, resulting in big brands making public apologies for not being Twitter-tasteful.

Let’s review some examples shall we?

1. DiGiorno Pizza

The hashtag #WhyIStayed was originally created as a way to express solidarity with Janay Rice, the wife of the NFL player, Ray Rice, who was videoed brutally punching her in an elevator. The still trending hashtag now provides a powerful avenue for domestic abuse victims to share their stories with the world. So how does DiGiorno come into all of this?

2. Kenneth Cole

During the revolutions in Egypt, Kenneth Cole insensitively overlooked the entire political landscape of a country and tried capitalising on the killings and riots that were breaking out. Classy.

3. Spirit Airlines

When hackers stole and leaked nude photos of female celebrities, the Internet’s reaction was swift and varied from lowbrow humour to straight up outrageous misogyny. Spirit Airlines tried jumping on the bandwagon and conceived a promotion called “Bare Fare”, including an email to all its customers of a nude “selfie” sketch that read, “Our Bare Fare Was Leaked!”

4. The Onion

Usually on point with their wit, The Onion totally missed the mark when they Tweeted about the 9-year-old Oscar Nominated child actress, Quvenzhané Wallis. Needless to say they received tonnes of backlash and deleted the post an hour later.

5. Epicurious

In the wake of April’s horrifying Boston Marathon bombing, Epicurious had the nerve to tweet out a recipe suggestions for those in Boston. It’s safe to say that no one in Boston was going to Twitter for scone tips on the day of the attack — while people were still frantically trying to locate loved ones and keep track of news updates. This is one of the worst examples of a brand’s attempt at “real-time marketing” — a company using a national tragedy as an opportunity to chime in about its own content.

We here in Malaysia are fortunate as many of our local brands have yet to jump on the Twitter craze just yet. By learning from the mistakes our international brand brethren have made, it is always wise to not make haste decisions and say things we can’t take back.

Has your brand ever said something it shouldn’t have?

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