brands under fire
Posted by Dale Buss on February 15, 2013 06:14 PM
Crises beget winners as well as losers. One of the winners seems to be Ian Davis—if you can call leaping from the frying pan into the fire a way of coming out on top.
The non-executive chairman of BP has been hired by another stalwart of UK business, Rolls-Royce, to help the embattled luxury-car brand deal with allegations of possible bribery by some of its people overseas.
Davis has had experience dealing with "challenging situations" like the one facing Rolls-Royce. In fact, Davis was chairman of BP's Gulf of Mexico Committee, which was in charge of the energy company's overall, long-term response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizons disaster in the Gulf.
It's taken a lot of advertising (and an Olympics sponsorship) by BP, a $4.5 billion fine and billions more in outlays for cleanup in Gulf states, but BP seems to have survived the disaster—and Rolls-Royce believes Davis had a lot to do with it. Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Dale Buss on February 15, 2013 05:32 PM
Two strikes and you're in the hole. That's where Chrysler stands with social-media mistakes today after the company took down (as we suspected they might) a timely but insensitive promotional video on YouTube that was first noted by brandchannel Editor-in-Chief Shirley Brady.
The four-second video depicted a Dodge Viper that had been edited into a video to look like it was riding on the meteor that exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains today with the power of an atomic bomb, its sonic blasts shattering countless windows and injuring about 1,100 people.
Titled "Viper Rides Meteor" on the Chrysler Group's PR-managed Pentastar Video YouTube channel today, the short clip came with the description: "Yeah ... it's that fast. The SRT Viper outraces that meteor :)" Actually, the pricey sports car has a top speed of about 206 mph, Road and Track says. Russian authorities estimated that today's meteor was traveling at about 30,000 to 45,000 mph when it cracked up.
A Chrysler source told brandchannel that the company was still investigating how the tasteless video percolated through internal procedures to reach its public YouTube channel. It's not the first time Chrysler has been so embarrassed on social media, either. In 2011, what Chrysler said was a compromised Twitter account led to a vulgar tweet that read, "Whoa -- What? RT @chryslerautos: I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f------ drive."
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 15, 2013 04:06 PM
News of the Carnival Triumph’s ‘cruise from hell’ was nearly exhausted as the limping, stinking ship arrived by tug boat in Mobile, Alabama, thanks to wall-to-wall social media coverage and CNN’s helicopter suspended overhead.
All that remains now is a report card on how Carnival is handling the crisis, and what the impact will be on the industry. "You have 3,100 people on that ship telling their family and friends they're never going on a cruise again, you have tweets and photos coming out now, and you have a freakin' CNN helicopter overhead. You think that's not going to resonate?" commented travel expert Jason Clampet, co-founder of travel website Skift.com.
Stranded at sea for five days following a fire in the ship's engine room, Carnival launched a dedicated news page on its website, continually updated its Facebook page (with two million likes) and used two Twitter feeds (@CarnivalCruise and @CarnivalPR) with tweets such as: "We've taken more than 7,000 calls from family & friends & have been in regular contact with our guests' designated on-shore contacts."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 15, 2013 02:10 PM
Chrysler's Dodge Viper brand released a video titled "Viper Rides Meteor" on the Chrysler Group's Pentastar Video YouTube channel today, with the description: "Yeah...it's that fast. The SRT Viper outraces that meteor :)"
With more than 1,000 people injured, not to mention the brand's recall over airbags today, it's bad timing and taste for a video — let alone a smiley face. Watch it below.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 01:53 PM
Oscar Pistorius was a man once known for being the fastest double-leg amputee on the planet. Now that the so-called Blade Runner has been charged with murder for the shooting death of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp early Valentine’s Day morning, his sponsors, who pay out about $2 million to Pistorius annually, are moving just as quickly as Pistorius to figure out how to deal with the sudden PR nightmare.
Nike’s attachment to Pistorius was compounded by the fact that an ad featuring the Olympian used the tagline, “I’m the bullet in the chamber.” It was pulled from Pistorius’s website on Thursday, Ad Age reports. The victim's tweets before her murder also created a social media nightmare for anyone or any company attached to the paralympic athlete.
"Nike extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families concerned following this tragic incident," his sponsor said in a statement. "As it is a police matter, Nike will not comment further at this time." Two other sponsors, Oakley and BP Global, both used the word “shocked” in their statements on the issue. Thierry Mugler fragrances had nothing to say other than it was waiting to see what happens with the investigation.
British Telecom, better known as BT, also went the “appalled” route with its statement: "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy. Given the ongoing legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 15, 2013 11:06 AM
The clear loser in the intensifying back-and-forth between Elon Musk and the New York Times is the future of the Tesla brand.
The tit-for-tat drama reached its next predictable phase on Thursday evening when Times auto reviewer John Broder countered a scathing attack from earlier in the day by Tesla founder Musk, alleging that the journalist had deliberately and roundly falsified his assessment of the cold-weather capabilities of the Tesla S in a zeal to discredit the very expensive all-electric vehicle.
So far, assessments of all the back-and-forth and of who's being completely truthful seem to be tilting in favor of Broder and his newspaper. But clearly there's a long way to go in the battle launched by the Times' publication on February 10 of "Stalled Out on Tesla's Electric Highway." Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 14, 2013 02:12 PM
The Carnival Triumph cruise ship, being towed by three tugboats, will finally dock this afternoon and let the thousands onboard set their feet on dry land in Mobile, Alabama, after drifting about the Gulf of Mexico since an engine-room fire broke out Sunday, leaving the ship unable to move itself forward and without power for some bathrooms, elevators and kitchens.
This has led, of course, to thousands of passengers trying to figure out places to go to the bathroom and many just deciding on any old place, which has led to one smelly and bacteria-ridden boat—and a PR disaster. One woman calling in to NBC's “Today Show” compared it to the New Orleans Superdome during Hurricane Katrina, where six people died and thousands dealt with no power, sunlight or food for days. It's certainly not the way one would want to mark a vacation, or worse, a wedding.
While on the Triumph, people have been waiting in long lines for food such as hamburgers, but they’ve still got access to shuffleboard, not to mention yoga and Pilates instructors, blackjack and poker dealers and comedians and musicians. It certainly isn’t the cruise any of these folks signed on for, but it appears that everyone will survive the indignities of having to defecate into plastic bags and then place those bags into larger plastic bags.
In an interview with CNN, a mother of a passenger said her daughter told her that once disembarked, "everyone's going to have to have a little psychological help." That may also apply to the brand's reputation.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 12, 2013 11:39 PM
It is now an expectation of any live event that some unforeseen detailed quirk will become the hot meme of the night's social media. Think Oreo during the Super Bowl blackout or "binders full of women."
On Tuesday, during the "opposition response" to President Obama's State of the Union address, one beverage brand got its opportunity when Republican golden boy senator Marco Rubio awkwardly reached for, and drank from, a small Poland Spring bottle.
But neither of the brand's two Twitter accounts had a reply. In fact, both accounts have had dry mouth for years.Continue reading...