Significant seven: Social media controversies

Over the next few days, we are publishing highlights from this year’s Mumbrella Annual.

1. #QantasLuxury
A good idea in theory: ask your customers to tweet about their favorite luxury Qantas experience for a prize. But after a year of mechanical difficulties, union strikes and an entire fleet grounded, the timing was less than ideal. Tweeters used #QantasLuxury as a platform to shoot the airline down.

2. GaspFail
Retailer Gasp sent a very rude emailed response to a customer complaint, which went viral. Gasp was later caught astroturfing. The same comment was written beneath stories about Gasp on a few websites, defending its outrageous email as “pure genius”.

3. Louie the lie
When Mortein announced that it was going to kill off brand mascot Louie the Fly it looked like a hoax from the start. Mortein later said that Louie might be spared, due to the public outcry. Bizarrely, social media is still buzzing with people begging Mortein to save him. With a Save Louie the Fly tour about to hit the road, there’s life in the stunt yet.

4. Kyle Sandilands
After abusing a News Ltd journo live on air for writing about the poor first outing of his new TV show, the public took to Twitter in outrage. A string of advertisers withdrew their support from the show at a significant cost to Southern Cross Austereo.

5. Operation: Bolt Cutter
A Facebook event was set up by Melbourne comedian Christian Price to pressure advertisers into withdrawing support from Ten’s The Bolt Report. Price urged people to contact advertisers “and tell them we will never be buying their products or services again, ever”.

6. Qantas blackface
Qantas asked fans to tweet what they would do to win rugby tickets. The winner – to dress as Fijian-born Wallaby Radike Samo, complete with black face paint and an Afro wig – didn’t go down well in the twitterverse.

 7. ’Molescheme’
Notebook maker Moleskine got designers in a strop when it launched a logo design contest. Moleskine was dubbed “Molescheme” on its own Facebook page for “exploiting” participants out of free design time. Moleskine’s slow, defensive response made matters worse. A website was created to attack the competition and Moleskine’s Facebook page was then plastered with links to rival notebook brands.



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