Social Media Blunders

Everyone enjoys a good “big brand looks dumb” story, right? Well here are a few winners from the social media realm. Companies that either consciously (through arrogance), or inadvertently (through stupidity) got their SM accounts in the news for all the wrong reasons.


A video showing employees doing gross stuff with food is never going to end well. Not for the Domino’s brand nor for the workers that ultimately faced criminal charges.

Watch the Domino’s YouTube disaster.

Vodafone UK and Chrysler Twitter account fails

Chrysler dropped an f bomb – not a great idea on a public forum. The tweet read: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one yet knows how to f*#king drive”. Naughty! Apparently the tweeter got their private and work twitter accounts confused, oops.

In Vodafone’s case this tweet appeared:

New Picture 12 Social Media Blunders

Obviously the employee was fired soon after. The homophobic slur was bad enough; but apparently it was the poor grammar that really pushed his boss over the edge.

Nestle vs Greenpeace

I can understand the frustration of Nestle execs when their Facebook Page was taken over by Greenpeace supporters protesting about their use on palm oil; but they certainly could’ve handled the situation better. Threatening and subsequently deleting posts by protesters displaying the image below as their profile pic was not very savvy. After all, potential customers were telling them what they (didn’t) want in their products… They should’ve responded by saying “thanks for your feedback (and free market research), we’re going to use your suggestions to improve our product”. More on that story here.

Nestle Killer Social Media Blunders

Twitter # high-jacking

Habitat UK tried using trending hash tags to promote their tweets. A lame, spammy marketing ploy that went down like a sack of poo on Twitter.

Fashion designer Kennith Cole followed the same path although he picked a sensitive world conflict to attach his blatant advertising to. He tweated: “Millions are in up roar in # Cairo. Rumour is they heard out new spring collection is now available at ….”. Kenny took a lot of flak for that one, and rightly so.

Boeing makes a kid cry

This one cracks me up. Cute kid draws (awesome) plane design pic and sends it to Boeing. They respond by sending the 8 year old a generic rejection letter saying his design would not be accepted and no copies of his letter would be kept. The upset kid’s dad then publishes the letter on his blog and Boeing come off looking like total jerks. Classic.

Boeing was able to turn the PR nightmare around by responding in a more human manner, read more about it here (credit for the image too).

boeing 300x239 Social Media Blunders

Honda caught astro-turfing

Honda releases images of their latest creation on their Facebook Page… Pretty much everyone that comments thinks the vehicle is rubbish, apart from one avid fan that loves it! Turns out the lone fan is actually a Honda engineer that pretty much designed the thing! He was exposed by listing his current position on his LinkedIn profile. Idiot.

Really bad timing

A New Zealand example to finish with – not strictly social media but close enough. Expedia sends a bulk email soon after the Christchurch quake in February advertising New Zealand destinations. Extremely poor form as the email included images of the Christchurch cathedral, one of the most severely damaged buildings. Not cool.

So that’s it, a few little gems to prove even the big boys get it wrong sometimes. Do you have any to add? And how badly do you think these blunders have damaged the offending brands?

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2 Responses to “Social Media Blunders”

  1. ticket Ninja
    August 22, 2011 at 7:35 am #


  2. ticket Ninja
    August 22, 2011 at 7:35 am #