Nissan in new Australian social media backlash

Yesterday we heard about the Qantas Twitter competition that failed – the so-called “epic PR fail” where angry customers kidnapped the hashtag #qantasluxury with nasty comments. Today we hear of yet another Australian social media campaign that didn’t end the way the company anticipated. Nissan Australia launched a Facebook competition called “Micraspotting”  in which you could win a a $1250 voucher or a grand prize, which was a brand new car worth $20,000.

The problem was that the person that won the car was a good friend of the Nissan employee who ran the Facebook competition (calling him his BFF, best friend forever, on his blog). The $1250 voucher was also awarded to a person who is a Facebook friend of the same Nissan employee. Nissan was honest about the connection when they announced the winner and said, “The reality is that he won fair and square and all is fully above board.”

That didn’t stop consumers from saying that the competition was rigged and posting angry comments to the Facebook walls of Nissan Australia and Nissan Micra Australia.

Nissan Australia Facebook Micraspotting

People are really angry and Nissan aren’t responding very well to the comments. Almost no communication at all from the company to the Facebook fury. Instead, what do they do? Launch another competition! Do you think that competition is recieved well? No, of course not.

Nissan Australia competition

What Nissan should do is take a step back, withdraw plans for any new competitions and handle the reactions from angry fans before launching a new PR stunt. Not well done.

Update: See Nissans’ response in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Nissan in new Australian social media backlash”

  1. But ahhh how I love their reply:


    “Hi Everyone – we have been silent for the last 24 hours watching ourselves get bagged. As we knew we would be. We respect your right to express your opinions and contrary to the suggestions of some, we will not be shutting down this page or censoring in any way (unless anti-social). We will never be able to convince some of you that the comp result was legit. Inaccuracies are thrown around as fact without consequence. E.g. A previous weekly winner was the girlfriend of a staff member, where a photo (not even of the staff member) was used as proof of this. Both of these were wrong but confidently stated as truths. Here are some facts: – There were numerous people working on the competition, including agency folks. The winner was independently verified by our agency. – Some of the clues were changed last minute due to external third party availabilities. – The average time taken to find the clues by the winner was over 2 hours. If the winner had inside info, it would have been much faster. – The staff member in question brought to our attention that one of the leaders was in fact his friend a number of days before final results were known That said, we know the result looks dodgy. We acknowledged this when we announced the winner. If it waddles and quacks, it must be a duck, right? Well, tell that to the Goose 🙂 We understand your displeasure. We are listening. Looking forward, we have some ideas on how to make our comps better. It will require your help. Watch this space. We will be back shortly…”


    “If it waddles and quacks, it must be a duck, right? Well, tell that to the Goose :-)” – Could be the social media quote of the year!

    To be honest. Once brands like Nissan (and others) do more and more things….they will get spawned with all kinds of shitty comments. As long as people can throw shit on brands they don’t like…for any reason…they will do it. If you log on to most major brand walls that allow people to post freely you’ll always find that they’ve recently been spammed, hated and more.

    Maybe they should stop doing competitions, maybe not. One thing is for sure….superbrands should NEVER let themselves be dictated by their fans. Only their own visions. The challenge of course is to create brand activities that allows for them to interact with fans without finding themselves cornered…

  2. I completely agree with Johan. This competition was badly handled from the beginning. Nissan should have specified in the comp’s fine print that only individuals unconnected with the Nissan brand and contracted agency were eligible to participate. What’s more, if Nissan was aware of this personal connection before announcing the results, there is no excuse for the company not to have had a better social media crisis management plan. “We have been silent for the last 24 hours watching ourselves get bagged” is not ingratiating. What a horrible mess.

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