Another company has had its Twitter hashtag hijacked. In a high-risk campaign, Starbucks asked people to use #spreadthecheer to have their holiday messages projected on a large video screen near the Natural History Museum in London at a public ice rink.
Unfortunately, the timing was off. Starbucks recently has been criticized for tax breaks in the UK. Tweets were less than generous.
- "I like buying coffee that tastes nice from a shop that pays tax. So I avoid @starbucks #spreadthecheer"
- "Tax paid: £8.6m. Additional tax paid to improve public image: £20m. Posting live tweets to a big screen: priceless. #spreadthecheer"
As The Consumerist wrote, "The people at Starbucks have apparently never used the Internet." It does seem that the company should have been more cautious, particularly given the tax issue.
So far, Starbucks has not commented on the failure.
- Read about other failed Twitter campaigns. What do these situations share in common?
- Should companies just stop using Twitter hashtags?