Monday, November 24, 2008

Twitter Moms Give Motrin a Headache

Posted by Katie Noonan

Motrin was feeling some pain last week after customer backlash over a new ad campaign forced the company to take down a 50-second video it had added to its Web site last Saturday. The clip targeted moms suffering from backaches due to their infants’ slings and over-the-shoulders carriers. Many felt the ad was offensive, and portrayed new moms in an unflattering light.

Twitter moms tweeted in force, lambasting Motrin for a video clip they viewed to be insensitive and insulting to women at a very vulnerable time- when they are new moms. According to Ragan Communications, a Twitter handle, “motrinmom,” was created over the weekend with a tweet that read: “If I look tired and crazy, people will understand why,” with a link to the video.

Despite an apology from Motrin on its Web site and removal of the video clip, the conversation raged on throughout last weekend and even into early last week. While initial tweets came mostly from angry consumers, later tweets came from people commenting on the impact of social media, while still others were asking if the ad was really so offensive, according to the Ragan article, Twitter users wrestle the Motrin brand to its knees.

For public relations practitioners, the Motrin snafu presents an interesting case study about the impact of social media and consumer relations . Michael Sebastian, author of the Ragan article makes an excellent point, in the social media age, a PR professional’s job is round-the-clock. With people using social media sites 24/7, your response time needs to be immediate. It’s critical to protecting your brand and preventing a customer relations crisis.

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