Motrin gets “Twittered”

An extraordinary thing happened this weekend. A major brand was “taken down” by Twitter. A good synopsis of the story can be found here

http://blogs.forbes.com/sciencebizblog/2008/11/twitter-moms-si.html

it includes the original add. But you should SEE the response on Twitter (#motrinmums). I myself first heard about from @dancingmango and a very good post on his blog which shows the spikes in activity. Marc’s post and the whole unfolding of this event makes, more than ever, the case for marketing to get out of their entrenched positions and get up to speed with the ways in which consumers are able to communicate now and to understand the importance of the power of the consumer to the future of their brands. More than just showing themselves up as an out of touch team they followed up with a classicly poor apology in which tehy didn’t even say sorry and skirted around the issue by apologising for disappointing their consumers. Geesh this isn’t your DAD telling you off for coming in late… this is your BOTTOM LINE telling you to f.off because you took a liberty!

However is this a fair response to the situation? Some, but notably male, comments on the forbes.com article point out the “Mobs are inherently unpredictable…” and is probably right. Do we believe that Motrin really wanted to create offense? Do we believe that Motrin DIDNT think they were genuinely connecting with their customers? When journalists get a bee in their bonnet about something in the UK we often blame the hacks for stirring up a storm in a tee cup… can we say the same about the Twitter Mobs… did they get themselves in a mess about nothing?

Does it matter if the end result is your web-site is down for a whole weekend and the whole world thinks you just took the michael out of Mothers worldwide?

I think it does matter if we are to have a sane world in which we all consider the impact of our conversations, the truth of our communication (both sending and receiving) and are going to truly understand each other…

but what certainly matters more is saying sorry properly…

Oh dear…

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