Protein World turns ad complaints into Twitter Fail

SITTING down to do work on a Saturday morning isn’t ideal, usually because it means I’ve been devoting time to non-essential things during the week like planting tomato seeds and sitting outside whilst it’s sunny, but when it brings with it the joys of a brand social media fail, it makes me feel a bit better.

This morning I was delighted to find out that it was Protein World, a company that sells protein and other fitness related products, who had put their foot in it when it came to responding to negative comments online.

Let me take it back to the beginning. Protein World currently have an advert running on underground billboards promoting their products. The poster features a woman in a bikini with a rockin’ bod, and the question “Are you beach body ready?”

Now, some people have taken offense to this advert because they believe that it promotes an unachievable image for women, and that all bodies should be considered beach ready because people should be happy in their own skin. Fair enough.

The problem as I see it though, is the aftermath of this debate, which has seen Protein World respond to criticism on Twitter in a way that should used in future case studies entitled “How not to handle a social media crisis.”

As well as their social media team (which I assume is run by a group of ‘lads’ who enjoy doling out ‘banter’ left right and centre) doing a terrible job at handling the situation, the company’s CEO did little to appease the situation when someone tweeted him asking if he thought the account’s behaviour was acceptable.

I don’t have a problem with the advert itself, but that’s because I don’t give two shits about what anyone thinks about me or my body. I would also expect that a company who’s products are aimed at getting people into better shape would have an advert like this, so it’s not really a surprise.

The problem I, and I imagine a lot of other people, have is with their social media team. If someone is criticising you, your product or your company, the best way to go about it is reply in a respectable manner. Don’t do what Protein World have done and just retweet idiots because they’re standing up for your brand.

tweetIt’s clear that the only thing that matters to Protein World is sales, and whilst they may have annoyed a lot of people, their actions are going to have enamored the members of the population who think being a massive twat is just ‘banter’ and the people running the account are ‘legends’.

I tweeted about them this morning, and because I had the audacity to talk about the fact that what they are doing is a terrible idea, they blocked me for my troubles. Clearly they want people to see what they’re doing, as long as those people are brain dead, money centric idiots like them.

Fortunately, because I have half a brain, I can just log out of my Twitter account and see their Tweets, but that’s by the by.

If you’re wondering how to run your social media accounts, I’d advise you do the total opposite of what Protein World have done and that should get you off to a good start.

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Iona St Joseph

Written by Iona St Joseph

PR exec who likes finding funnies and cool stuff online. Print journalism graduate.

  • Dayis

    It is interesting, to say the least, how they replied to social criticism. Some people find it heroic, that they aren’t the same as all the other companies that would say “we are sorry.” Others find it idiotic and offensive. They found a market of people who do not like to give into social pressures. A friend of mine has ordered from them because, they do not pander or give into social media or the offended.” Will it cost them in future possibly? I think they will probably go out of business, but people appreciate and support the Don Draper bravado that the company is portraying.

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