IHOP Gets Cute But Crosses a Line

Sure, companies need to attract attention, and social media is a good way to differentiate a brand. But IHOP went too far with its references to breasts, and people didn't respond well. These images and the tweet say it all. 


With an edgy voice, the company is trying to reach a younger demographic, but it backfired. People responded with anger and surprise. @JuddLegum tweeted,  "Something is going on with IHOP on Twitter and I hope I never find out what it is." 

To the company's credit, it sent a quick, natural apology tweet: 

IHOP response

Discussion Starters: 

  • It's difficult for companies to know what's just edgy and funny-and what crosses an ethical line. How would you advise companies to distinguish? 
  • Assess IHOP's response tweet. Does it work? Should the company have issued a longer or different apology?