Facebook, along with other social networks out there are giving internet users an opportunity like never before to speak their minds irrespective of who’s listening or watching. This ability has brought as sense of freedom your average Internet user and for brands, is a unique insight into the minds of their clients.
With this great power, comes great responsibility, in the form of content moderation or the addressing of negative reviews or customer feedback.
Brands can not only see raw and honest complements, but at the same time can see any negative news they may have, whether reasonable, realistic or not.
Brand pages on Facebook give our best-known corporations, to our smallest businesses, the option to edit conversation. However, in our world with a constant and un-moderated right for free speech, should this outlet really allow brands to regulate what they want people to say?
Lip care brand ChapStick, learnt their online limitations the hard way this week that moderating content on your Facebook site is deemed unacceptable.
Following the release of the latest advertisement for their new campaign “where do lost ChapSticks go?” The advert, that featured a woman searching down the back of the sofa in a compromising position, resulted in a barrage of complaints and insults.
The picture that was deemed inappropriate and sexist, had the potential to spell critical damage of the reputation of the famous brand.
The negativity didn’t stop there however, on discovering the feedback from the advertisement, ChapStick deleted comments, made by Facebook users in an attempt to quell undesirable views.
When it became apparent that this was the crisis management technique that ChapStick were adopting, even more criticism came their way. This time, special attention came from numerous bloggers and media outlets.
The outrage of the public had shifted from one of vehement anti-sexism to consternation at the amputation of their ability for free speech at the hands of ChapStick.
The PR storm that ensued the disastrous situation involved heavy criticism of the ChapsStick brand that should have reacted quicker to the comments made rather than ignoring them and deleting them.
With a short time to recuperate from the social media bashing, the PR team from ChapStick extinguished the immolating situation by saying:
“We see that not everyone likes our new ad, and please know that we certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone! Our fans and their voices are at the heart of our new advertising campaign, but we know we don’t always get it right. We’ve removed the image and will share a newer ad with our fans soon!”
“We apologise if the fans have felt like their posts are being deleted, and while we never intend to pull anyone’s comments off our wall, we do comply with Facebook guidelines and remove posts that use foul language, have repetitive messaging, those that are considered spam-like (multiple posts from a person in a short period of time) and are menacing to fans and employees.”
ChapStick’s new campaign, which at its core holds the value of “listening to followers and fans” goes completely against their recent bout of crisis management. Could this work against the brand as they adapt new campaigns?
The situation has taught ChapStick themselves, and other brands alike valuable lessons on dealing with complaints and the powerful influence that social media has.
Make your own mind up about the advert, it’s displayed below! Which is more offensive? The advertisement or Chapstick for trying to silence the voice of the public?