Italian pasta brand Barilla found itself in the middle of a crisis yesterday, caused by a quote from its chairman Guido Barilla. In a radio interview, Mr Barilla said that the company would not include gay people in its advertising. After threats that customers would start a boycott against the brand, the company issued an official apology.
As often happens in cases like these, customers tend to make fun of the brand, posting things such as fake ads on social networks and generally trying to humiliate the brand. These online comments often go viral. This time, one popular item is the following comment from one of Barilla’s competitors, Pasta Garofalo.
But while making fun of a competitor in a crisis may give you a few laughs and some instant publicity, it’s a risky business. Creating an atmosphere where it is ok to stab competitors in the back may in the long run result in damage to both brands. And the good people at Garofalo know this, that’s why they never posted the image above. It’s a spoof and have been created by someone else, pretending it’s an official comment from the brand.
The company quickly posted a comment on its Facebook page to set things straight. The comments says that the ad is not theirs, they have not been involved and they do not approve of it. I think it was wise of them to act and to distance themselves from the ad. And as always, if in doubt if something is fake or not, try check the source.
Posted in Crisis.
– September 27, 2013
Two girls, aged 15 and 16, were today sentenced in Gothenburg, Sweden, for defamation of 38 teenagers on Instagram. The two were responsible for posting photographs of mostly girls on Instagram, calling them out as ”sluts” with claims of different sexual activities. More than 200 teenagers claimed to have had their photographs published on the “hate accounts” on Instagram, which at one point led to the so called Instagram riots outside the Plusgymnasiet high schoool in Gothenburg late 2012. The case eventually involved 38 plaintiffs where the evidence were strong enough to press charges against the girls.
The younger of the two admitted to publishing the photos, but the older girl had denied that she has been involved. During three days in December 2012, the Instagram account ”Gbgsorroz” published names and photos with slanderous comments of more than 200 teenagers. The convicted girls asked others for tips, photos and comments via the messenger serivce Kik, and then published this information on Instagram.
The two girls have now been convicted and sentenced to youth care and youth service. In addition, they shall pay damages to each of the plaintiffs to the amount of 15,000 SEK, or 570,000 SEK in total (85,000 USD).
The information about who was behind the account was obtained from Microsoft and local internet service provider ComHem, according to the district court. They then tracked who used the actual IP number that had been assigned to one of the accused parents, according to SVT.
The entire sentence can be found here in Swedish.
Posted in Crisis.
– June 25, 2013