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5 major Twitter fails and the big brands involved
Burger King isn’t the only major brand to have a Twitter #fail happen to them recently.
After the Burger King Twitter handle was compromised Monday for over an hour while hackers tweeted everything from jokes about being sold to McDonald’s, to gang-related tweets, and even a few shout outs to Chicago rappers Chief Keef and Lil Reese, we decided to take a look back at 5 common Twitter fails and how several major brands have fallen victim to them:
Kenneth Cole may have good taste in fashion, but he may want to take a backseat when it comes to current events.
His brand came under fire after the designer himself sent out an insensitive tweet under his brand’s Twitter account. The tweet read: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo.” This was sent as #Cairo was trending globally in 2011 during the political unrest in Egypt.
Cole took to Facebook to issue an apology:
“I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate.
Kenneth Cole, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer”
Entenmann’s may have tasty treats, but this poorly timed tweet left a bad taste in the mouths of most of their followers: “Who’s #notguilty of eating all the tasty treats they want?” What’s wrong with that? Well, it was sent shortly after Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murdering her daughter Caylee. The hashtag #notguilty was trending nationally.
After much understandable backlash from followers, Entenmann’s deleted the tweet and issued this apology: “Sorry everyone, we weren’t trying to reference the trial in our tweet! We should have checked the trending hashtag first”.
Newsweek’s attempt at crowd sourcing opinions from Twitter backfired when they solicited responses on their “Muslim Rage” cover story via the hashtag #MuslimRage. Instead of commenting on the article, Twitter took a comedic spin on the hashtag, tweeting messages like, “When everyone in history class turns to you once 9/11 is brought up. #MuslimRage” and “Couldn’t toss football around since the ball was made of pigskin #MuslimRage.”
There’s a time and a place for everything but bad jokes about a major crisis are never a good idea. Gilbert Gottfried learned this the hard way. The comedian was the nasally voice of the Aflac duck – but a few offensive tweets changed all that. Shortly after the Japanese tsunami in 2007, Gottfried tweeted these poorly received jokes: “Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.” and “What do the Japanese have in common with @howardstern? They’re both radio active.” Gottfried was fired soon thereafter.
When managing a brand’s Twitter account and a personal account it can be easy to think you’re tweeting on one when in actuality you’re posting on the other. Whoever used to manage Chrysler’s Twitter page learned that the hard way when they tweeted out what seemed to be meant for their personal page: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f—ing drive.”
This was obviously not the kind of message a major auto group would want to send. Chrysler later apologized, saying: “Chrysler Group and its brands do not tolerate inappropriate language or behavior, and apologize to anyone who may have been offended by this communication.”