On September 8, DiGiorno Pizza made a very large mistake that could ruin the reputation of the brand far into the future. It was a simple mistake that could have been avoided with a simple click, and a few seconds of simple web navigation.
In February, video surfaced of Baltimore Ravens running back, Ray Rice, dragging his unconscious then fiancé Janay Palmer, now Janay Rice, from an Atlantic City hotel elevator. Last week surveillance video surfaced of the whole story. With a quick punch, Rice knocked Janay unconscious. This week Janay went public defending her decision to stay with Rice, and twitter quickly hopped in to support her decision with the hashtag #WhyIStayed. Victims of domestic violence, in a show of support, were using the hashtag and it quickly became trending.
Seeing the trending hashtag DiGiorno tweeted late September 8, “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.” Immediately the company started to receive responding tweets criticizing the brand for its insensitivity. The offensive tweet was immediately taken down, and DiGiorno began a crusade to apologize to all of it’s followers, and virtually the entire internet. The company has been taking the time to reply to individual tweets, apologizing for its ignorance.
Another instance of such hashtag abuse occurred when Entenmann’s incorrectly used the hashtag #NotGuilty before realizing that it had a connection to Casey Anthony’s trial. The company did not attempt a mass apology on the scale that DiGiorno is, however they abandoned Twitter forever.
In this day and age it is so easy to tarnish a sterling reputation. In less than140 characters DiGiorno has lost all Internet marketing and social media credibility. In this day and age there is no excuse for this kind of slip up. I would like to believe that a company like DiGiorno does not fund a marketing department full of morons, and every single one of them has seen the news or has basic knowledge of Twitter. This kind of mistake was easily avoidable.
Social media and fan/customer interaction can be the most powerful and least expensive marketing tools that a company can use. The immediate feedback and interaction is invaluable to the customers, and makes them feel as if they are a part of the product. Did DiGiorno go to far? Will they be able to redeem themselves when domestic violence is such a hot issue? Is apologizing to every individual complaint sorry enough?
Griner, D. (2014, September 9). DiGiorno Is Really, Really Sorry About Its Tweet Accidentally Making Light of Domestic Violence. Retrieved September 10, 2014, from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/digiorno-really-really-sorry-about-its-tweet-accidentally-making-light-domestic-violence-159998