Social media is here to stay and gives a platform to companies as well as consumers who hold the power to bring about change, explain Mlenga Jere and Raymond van Niekerk.
More than 20 years after democracy it seems incredible that a leading South African insurance company, Outsurance would put out a Father’s Day advertisement which featured mostly white dads. If their marketing team didn’t see the problem, citizens on social media certainly did and helped the company to see the error of its ways – and fast.
Within hours of screening the advertisement, a twitter storm had broken out and the commercial was retracted. Outsurance issued an apology for any offence caused. It was a quick and decisive response – which is generally the right way to respond in a crisis – spoiled only by the fact that the company subsequently laid the blame at the door of a “junior lady” on the social media team.