Obviously the tweet was meant to go out on this guys' private account. The tweet was deleted quickly. But the damage was done. The Tweeter was fired by the agency, New Media Strategies, and the agency was fired by Chrysler. Chrysler made this statement on their blog.
There's been ongoing debates about which was worse:
- The F-bomb? ... Or the message itself, which runs completely counter to the new Chrysler ad campaign embracing Detroit? (See AdFreak)
- The F-bomb tweet? ... Or the language/culture of Eminem, who is currently featured in said Chrysler commercial?
Here's a tweet he probably won't be sending out again:
There are lots of good comments on the blog, but I tend to agree with these from Carri Bugbee the most:
"The agency showed very poor judgement in assigning a global brand to a complete Twitter newbie (did you look at his personal Twitter account?!) who also appears to be young and probably not steeped in the ways of business. ... You need to make mistakes (everybody does) on your OWN account -- not your employer's or your client's ... there's no excuse for a big agency or a big brand to be that clueless (or that cheap) in 2011."
I would add to that:
- When you're working in a regulated industry such as Pharma, it's even more important that you have experienced, knowledgable, professionals doing the tweeting, whether on the agency or the client side.
- I'm sorry, but few true professionals I know (no matter what age) would tweet an angry F-bomb-laden statement on their private account in the first place. The statement alone says a lot about this guys' character and judgement about what he puts out into the world about his own personal brand.
- I do think it's fine for agencies to tweet on behalf of their clients, in certain situations. Keep in mind the "accidental tweet" mistake could have happened just as easily on the client side. In fact, it happened to the Red Cross recently, and they handled it with grace.
- Still, I don't subscribe to the idea that this particular situation could have happened to anybody. We all make mistakes. But this was collossal.