Social Media Thoughts?

Brands Unwanted Publicity

This US presidential election is nothing but down-and-dirty politics.

Last month, Skittles (owned by Mars) was referenced in one of many controversial Donald Trump tweets when he tweeted a meme comparing Syrian refugees to poisonous Skittles in a bowl of the colorful candies.   The Mars group of companies immediately responded with a tweet “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”

Last week, a video of Donald Trump talking extremely negative about women surfaced where in his dialogue he makes reference that he needed some Tic Tacs “just in case” he started kissing an unsuspecting soap opera actress.

Both stories sparked an intense backlash on social media, and plenty of material for late-night hosts and comedians including a skit on Saturday Night Live where it was suggested “Now if you’re a woman and hear Tic Tacs shaking in someone’s pocket, it’s like hearing the Jaws theme …”.

Tic Tac USA, which is owned by the Italian company Ferrero, responded the next day with “Tic Tac respects all women. We find the recent statements and behavior completely inappropriate and unacceptable.”

These issues raise several questions – most important of which “are you prepared with receiving unwanted publicity”.  The fact that your business employs several employees, your business is subject to robbery risks, and so on …. have you thought of how you would respond to negative publicity.  In the age of social media, newsworthy topics travel quickly – and both Mars and Ferrero responded quickly.  To ignore negative publicity in this day and age – in most cases is not an option.