Tag Archives: Gap

It’s been a bad week for tweets

8 Apr

Remember that silly tweet you posted? It was so unlike you. That ‘blame it on the heat of the moment’ tweet? It’s going to get you in trouble. Why? Because it’s been a bad week for tweets and it’s only going to get worse:

First, Paris Brown, a 17-year old Youth Police Commissioner for Kent, is getting slammed for tweets she posted three years ago (and deleted this week) that celebrate drink, drugs and rock and roll – all illegal at her age. But, like many before her, she’s standing her ground and refusing to leave her £15,000 role which sees her bridge the gap between young people and the police.

Paris’ former Twitter profile – @vilulabelle – played home to a range of ill-fitting updates for someone of her position, which causes me to wonder if she’s on the right career path. That’s if the police is still home to institutional ‘isms’? But that’s another matter.

The moral of this story is, Twitter doesn’t define your past, but if your digital footprint isn’t clean, it might impact your future.

I’ve said it before – we need to place more emphasis on online security and etiquette. If we can hire people to tidy away our social media profiles and passwords when we pass away, why aren’t we teaching young people to clear up their act now?

We could start with the hundreds of people who are celebrating the poor death of the UK’s first female Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher. So, much so, Lord Alan Sugar has come out of his office to dub them ‘scum’.

After passing away yesterday morning from a stroke, it prompted lots of people to ‘have their say’ including one Oddbins Crouch End employee.

Someone did enough damage in 140-characters to get themselves suspended for encouraging consumers to celebrate the news with money off champagne. Not out of the ordinary for a wine shop, but enough to cause offence.

Now deleted, Oddbins’ management apologised for its poor taste and timing, and has speedily announced its got a disciplinary meeting date in the diary, with the person in question, to have words.

The moral of this story is to pull scheduled tweets during big breaking news stories and get approval on all updates plugging the gap.

So, be careful what you say. A little birdie might just show you for what you really are

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Sometimes social media silence is best

19 Dec

Following the tragic Newtown shootings in Connecticut last week, which has left America mourning, brands have continued to make light of the situation with insensitive gestures.

This isn’t uncommon. Recently I blogged on GAP and American Apparel’s misfortunes during the New York hurricanes. Amidst the disaster, both retailers thought sales were the answer and encouraged users to stay indoors and do some shopping.

What’s worrying is that brands aren’t learning the basic ‘dos an don’ts’ even after bloggers hang them out to dry.

This time around there’s been a series of mishaps.

Cerberus Capital Management
Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, the maker of Bushmaster firearms – the gun that killed 27 people, had to pull a marketing ploy that referred to ‘avoiding eye contact with tough looking fifth graders’.

This links to Brad Phillips’ viewpoint on the PR Daily that it’s about time people stopped their prescheduled social media updates and campaigns during crises such as this to avoid foolish mistakes.

Since the shooting, Cerberus Capital Management has announced that it plans to sell the arms firm it bought in 2006.

Dansko
As highlighted by blogger Alex Judd, US footwear maker Dankso posted this on its Facebook page:

“…sometimes it’s the routine of everyday life that keeps us moving after a tragedy. You grasp for the familiar, the little things you take comfort in, even if that’s simply wearing a favourite pair of shoes and taking one step at a time.”

After a series of abuse from fans, it promptly pulled the comment and moved on without apologising – a pet peeve of mine.

Celebrity slip-up
Former Coronation Street and I’m a Celebrity star Helen Flanagan has made headlines for all the wrong reasons – re-posting an image of herself holding a gun to her head as the first Newtown funerals took place.

Helen has since turned the tables on her enemies, claiming the papers are bullying her after her ‘brainless’ tactic.

I’m not going to add to the comments Helen’s been receiving. But I will say, for brands and celebrities alike, there’s nothing wrong with social media silence in the aftermath of an event that has shaken the world.

If you can’t say anything appropriate, don’t say anything at all.

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Hurricanes are no joke

31 Oct

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Whilst New York is suffering from death and destruction caused by mega storm Hurricane Sandy, which has killed tens of people, retailer Gap has been encouraging Americans to stay safe inside and shop online. A PR nightmare.

At the first hint of trouble, Obama cancelled his campaign trail dates and diverted to Washington to deal with the crisis (something which may stand him in good stead in a week’s time.) So, why was Gap making light of the situation?

On Monday, it tweeted: “All impacted by #Sandy stay safe. We’ll be doing lots of shopping on Gap.com. How about you?”

They’ve since learnt the error of their ways and deleted it. But, what on earth convinced them that this was a PR opportunity in the first place? In a national ‘mother nature’ crisis, brands are judged on their actions. And, the best action is charity – brands putting their money where their mouth is.

For a few minutes it looked as though American Apparel was going to do the right thing by organising a clothes sale to raise funds for victims. Instead it cocked this opportunity too with its strapline with ‘Incase you’re bored of the storm – 20% off everything’. This, naturally, led to another Twitter revolt. There’s simply no humanity or empathy with these companies.

These examples are laughable to you and I, but the scary thought is that someone’s being paid to lead these social media strategies. How they deal with this PR storm will, hopefully, test their sense.

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