The above ad for Motrin went up on their website late yesterday afternoon. After only 20 hours and a huge blogger and twitter outcry, motrin.com was taken down. Here's a link to one of the bloggers who spoke out. David Armano has provided a more complete analysis of the entire event along with some advice for brands.
Times are indeed changing for companies. Social media's reach and influence is broad and word spreads quickly over loosely knit networks of passionate people.
In addition to David's advice I would say
- Get to know the social media community. Find the bloggers in your target market.
Reach out to them. Ask them what they think of your campaign messaging.
- Baseline the community talking about your products and services with social media measurement applications.
- Monitor increases in discussion volume and sentiment. Live monitoring will provide an early warning system if an adverse reaction to the campaign forms.
- And most importantly, reach out to the community when warranted. Motrin must be commended for their genuine outreach once they determined the ad wasn't being well received.