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5 more corporate social media blunders

Here are the best of the worst social media campaigns in our opinion

As we mentioned in Part 1 of this article, these days, social media can be a very effective customer engagement strategy for brands. There are some really effective corporate social media accounts out there. But there are as many fails going on in the social media sphere as wins, and the fails are often epic. Unfortunately, when a social campaign backfires, the meltdowns are very public and painful to the company that is responsible.

Sending a Tweet, Vine, Facebook post or Instagram photo has always been another opportunity for embarrassment or attack, but here are at InsideCounsel, we think these brands stand out as the worst of them all. Let these ill-advised posts serve as a lesson to us all: Think twice before you press that tweet button.

Here is a continuation of the worst social media campaigns in our opinion:

Image via Business Insider

Image via Business Insider

In 2013, Pepsi's branch in Sweden released a set of Facebook ads featuring a voodoo doll of competitor Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo tied to train tracks, getting his head crushed, covered in pins.  After a Portuguese anti-Pepsi Facebook group formed and gained over 100K fans in just one day, Pepsi was forced to remove every single ad featuring this image as well as apologize.


 Kmart tweet

Kmart was very eager to reveal they would be open earlier than ever before on Thanksgiving 2013 and would stay open through all of Black Friday from morning until night. So when customers complained about the ethics of the decision, Kmart’s social media team responded with over 100 caveman-like statements.

Kmart tweeted hundreds of this same response to followers: “Kmart is staffing w/ teams & seasonal associates when possible, giving them opportunity to make extra money during holiday.”

Image via Business Insider

Image via Business Insider

Recently, British entertainment retailer HMV lost complete control of its social media team, when rogue members used the account to live-tweet a massive firing at the company.


Image via Business Insider

 Image via Business Insider

Amy's Baking Company was featured in an episode of Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares." When the episode triggered a ton of negative feedback. Then, the restaurant's two owners used Facebook in a bizarre public rant, trying to defend their restaurant against Reddit and Yelp users with expletives, caps, and inciting God.

Image via Business Insider


 Image via Business Insider

Strip club chain Spearmint Rhino's team decided to have Facebook users play a game and guess whose baby picture they uploaded. Soon enough users looked at the VHS sceenshot's time stamp and realized that the future stripper was now only 14 years old.


For more news on social media, check out these articles:

European agencies investigating Facebook over experiment privacy issues

Lawyers given OK to review jurors’ social media sites: ABA

Holding company Rembrandt Social Media sues Facebook as Virginia trial begins

Contributing Author

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Amanda Ciccatelli

Amanda G. Ciccatelli is a Freelance Journalist for InsideCounsel, where she covers intellectual property, legal technology, patent litigation, cybersecurity, innovation, and more. She earned a B.A....

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