Censorship does not lead to sales

My mom used to always tell me “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.” I’m sure we can all say that. But what if your mom is Chapstick and her idea of not saying anything at all is deleting your comments because you disagree with her posting what’s being called a sexist and objectifying advertisement?

The company has been deleting comments related to its latest ad where a woman’s butt is front and center as she hangs over a frantically torn apart couch searching for something – change, the remote control, possibly Chapstick?

The only clue you get is the graphically placed bar below the woman with the statement “Where do lost Chapsticks go? Be heard at Facebook.com/Chapstick.”

I guess “being heard” was really only being offered to people who like the brand.

It’s gotten so bad that people had to create their own Facebook page just to get their points across.

And it only got worse from there. The company did remove the ad but in the same breath they blame the dissenting commenters for violating Facebook’s guidelines!

We see that not everyone likes our new ad, and please know that we certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone! Our fans and their voices are at the heart of our new advertising campaign, but we know we don’t always get it right. We’ve removed the image and will share a newer ad with our fans soon!

We apologize that fans have felt like their posts are being deleted and while we never intend to pull anyone’s comments off our wall, we do comply with Facebook guidelines and remove posts that use foul language, have repetitive messaging, those that are considered spam-like (multiple posts from a person within a short period of time) and are menacing to fans and employees.

Have we learned nothing in the last couple of months with Netflix and Ragu that what you say (or don’t say) means more to selling a product than the actual product itself?

If you don’t want to hear what people say, don’t invite people to a conversation you’re not willing to have. But be prepared to suffer the consequences that come with it because if you’re there or not, people are going to talk about you, especially when it makes them mad.

Companies that are going to engage in social media need to be prepared to let people speak their minds, whether it is good or bad, and respond when appropriate. Censorship is a recipe for disaster.

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2 Responses to Censorship does not lead to sales

  1. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!? The thing that kills me is there are PLENTY of case studies on what to do/not to do now. This kind of stuff should not be happening going into 2012.

    • Exactly. And of the failures that have happened in social media, this one is the most egregious. What I can’t figure out though is how anyone over at that company thought that censoring people was a good public relations move.

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