Clorox Apologizes For “Where’s The Bleach” Tweet
Social Media presents brands with opportunities to reach their audiences directly. It also offers a great platform for brands to generate awareness and engage with and get feedback from consumers. Brands have overtaken social media, and they’re all competing for consumers‘ attention. Last week, Clorox got noticed, but for the wrong reasons.
The brand came under fire for tweeting “new emojis are alright but where’s the bleach?” in response to Apple’s new diverse emojis featuring brown and light skinned faces. There was an immediate uproar on Twitter, as many perceived the tweet to be racist. Clorox deleted the tweet and issued an apology, saying that it wan’t their intention to offend and that the tweet was meant to be lighthearted.
Clorox isn’t the only brand that has gotten into hot water for an inappropriate tweet. There was the misguided tweet by clothing retailer K-Mart. While expressing condolences to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, the brand added a promotional hashtag #Fab15toys to the same tweet, making apology appear insincere. Also, during the presidential debate in 2012, KitchenAid posted an insensitive tweet about President Obama’s grandmother, who passed away just before he became president in 2008.
One would think that by now, brands would have figured out how to avoid inappropriate posts on social media. The importance of cautiousness by brands on social media can’t be overemphasized. One by one, brands fall from the graces of the public because of social media posts published without consideration. Many brands have even gotten into trouble for their tweets and posts about 9/11 and Martin Luther King Day—sacred days that shouldn’t be used to promote any brand’s agenda.
You have only 140 characters: use them wisely. While social media campaigns can generate huge buzz and positive brand awareness, brands need to stop, think, and ask themselves these important questions: Is this consistent with our brand values? Is this relevant to my target audience? Could this be construed as offensive to any group of people? Only after they have answered these questions honestly should a brand proceed with its social media campaign. It’s better for brands to err on the side of caution than to get noticed for the wrong reasons.
Why do brands keep making the same mistakes on social media? Let’s talk about it in the comment section or tweet me @mo_yeen.