6 Stupid Tweets That Became Huge PR Nightmares For Companies
Corporate social media blunders are the gifts that keep on giving. When inexperienced interns, technologically inept employees, thoughtless social media managers, or people who just flat-out don't give a shit about their jobs are put in charge of the company Twitter account with thousands of followers, excruciating magic is inevitable.
Government Contractor Tweets Drunken Texts
Look, sometimes you have to have a few drinks after a hard week on the job. Cracked and Cracked's walk-in beer fridge understand that more than most. But if you work for, say, Booz Allen Hamilton, a management firm that consults for America's security and defense contractors, you might want to be a little careful with how you go about it. If for no other reason than to prevent endless "Booz Allen? More like BOOZE Allen! LOL!" comments.
The next seven texts are just "CHUG!"
That screenshot was tweeted at 11 p.m., which means whoever was in charge of Booz Allen's Twitter account responsibly finished their day on the job, went out for drinks (at 7ish), and presumably got so trashed that they somehow ended up tweeting from their corporate account. And they were so close to a perfect weekend of enjoying those hangover kits!
But hey, we've all said something we regretted to our 29,000-plus followers at one point or another, right? Honestly, the drinking is less embarrassing than the half-dozen cutesy emoticons following the contact name -- it's going to be hard to take meetings about security leaks seriously when you're projecting an image of sunshine and lollipops.
HuffPo "Nerds Out" About Ferguson
There are a lot of topics that are great to nerd out over. Which actor should play Batman? Sure! Whether or not "Kiss From a Rose" should score all 348 minutes of Batman v. Superman? Darn tooting! Ongoing protests over police brutality? Uuuuugh.
"So, guys, I'm pretty sure we're all tired of reboots ..."
Sam Stein, a reporter for the Huffington Post and no doubt a very nice person, got those two situations mixed up with this tone-deaf tweet encouraging people to check out an episode of Drinking and Talking. The talking was about the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and the drinking was presumably not pouring one out. Look, if you're going to be flippant about serious issues A) you probably shouldn't introduce casual drinking into the mix, and B) if you absolutely have to, don't pick a promotional screenshot that makes you look hammered. At least nobody tweeted, "I can't breathe, because this Scotch is breathtakingly smooth!" later in the evening.
A Think Tank Tells Amnesty International to "Suck It"
Amnesty International is an organization dedicated to spreading a worldwide message of "Hey, let's not be violent dicks to each other, K?" Only they use much fancier words. If they seem like a group that absolutely no one on the Internet could possibly have a beef with, welcome aboard and please finish reading your Internet Orientation Package before continuing.
It turns out a Washington think tank called the Center for Strategic and International Studies IS NOT IMPRESSED with Amnesty International. They were so uncool with the chowderheads at AI that they told them to ... well ... you'll see.
"Hey, before I send this, are you sure there isn't a 'blow me' emoji?"
Someone told Amnesty International to "suck it," and by "it," we assume they meant "a testicle"? We have no idea! Just the idea of a group of policy eggheads telling the world's most famous human rights organization that they suck is enough to pull us through whatever depression we'd go through after studying the atrocities Amnesty International is fighting.
Eventually, the faux pas was attributed to a multi-account mix-up, suggesting that CSIS did not in fact wish to tell a prominent and well-respected human rights organization to suck it; they merely employ people who do, and those people are 12.
Nestle Crunch Tweets About Mass Murder
We've never seen a corporate social media playbook, but we're guessing that "don't make puns about mass murder" is right up there next to "keep mentioning our products and literally nothing else." And if that's the case, someone at Nestle needs a refresher.
When 43 student teachers in Mexico were kidnapped and murdered by drug dealers and corrupt policemen in the town of Ayotzinapa, most Mexicans saw the tragedy as another difficult trial facing their nation. A visionary at Nestle, however, saw a chance to promote their Crunch chocolate bar ... with wordplay.
For those of you who speak only good old-fashioned American, that translates to "They crunched those from Ayotzinapa." Get it? Like the candy bar? It's funny because people died! Why are you still reading about murdered teachers when you could be rushing out to buy chocolate?
Nestle apologized for the bad joke, and we're using very loose definitions of both "apology" and "joke" here. When people were still giving them shit 12 hours later they decided to blame a hacker, and then they promised to launch an investigation to track down whomever was responsible, "whether internally or externally," according to Latin Times, which suggests they just flat-out don't know what happened. But presumably they nixed their plans for a targeted ad campaign in which they would track down people mourning the loss of a loved one named Henry and bombard the bereaved with Oh Henry! ads.
Best Buy Has Everything You Need for an Insensitive Murder Joke
Of course, most media strategists know better than to make fun of mass murder. The person in charge of Best Buy's Twitter account, for example, looked at Nestle's faux pas and thought to themselves, "Pfft, amateurs. If they were earning their paycheck they'd know that you only mock individual murders." And then they typed up this tweet, nodding sagely to themselves all the while.
"Apologies. Next time, on Serial."
For those of you behind on your podcasts, Serial is an investigation into the real murder of a high school student, and a Best Buy parking lot and a nearby payphone (that no one could confirm ever existed) figures prominently in the details of the crime. The murder happened in 1999 when payphones were still a thing.
So Best Buy made a reference to a podcast about a tragic crime that 90 percent of its followers wouldn't get, while the 10 percent who did would probably be put off by the sheer callousness of it. Serial is the most popular podcast ever, and we understand the desire to take advantage of trending hashtags, but there's a reason you never saw tweets like "It's important to always have a LEG UP on whoever's giving you trouble! #prostheticsales #pistoriustrial."
In response to criticism, Best Buy did the standard delete and half-assed apology, though we're sure at least one person wanted to argue, "What's the big deal? We said we don't have payphones, so we're anti-murder!"
Oh ... Redskins ...
There's still an ongoing debate about the appropriateness of the Washington Redskins' name, in the sense that a discussion between some old, privileged white guys who swear it's totally fine and everyone else who agrees that it kind of isn't can be considered a debate. We're not here to take sides any more than we did in that preceding sentence, but we would like to point out that when you've been accused of being insensitive to Native Americans, you maybe shouldn't rub salt in the indigenous genocide with a tweet like this:
"We would take it down, but we don't want to be Indi- ... uh, people that take things back ..."
"Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! You know, that day where we celebrate Europeans arriving on the continent and starting a long campaign to steal all the locals' shit and dream up slurs with which to name our modern corporate sports teams! PS: Here's a shitty picture of a bridge our social media intern's cousin thinks is artistic!"
We know that modern Thanksgiving is just an excuse to stuff as much pie and beer in your mouth as humanly possible, and we fully support that. But when you've been accused of being insensitive to Native Americans, and your counterargument is, "Nuh-uh, we totes aren't," think before you tweet. There's a reason the KKK doesn't send out well-wishes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Redskins' Thanksgiving message could have been a series of unusually crude fart noises and it would have come across as more appropriate.
You can read more from Mark at his website.
For more corporate fuckwittery, check out 4 Hilarious Leaked Emails Corporations Don't Want You to See and 4 Leaked Memos That Made Companies Look Like Dicks.
And to further straighten out your noggin, check out Cracked's De-Textbook: The Stuff You Didn't Know About the Stuff You Thought You Knew.