Last summer, slimming and health supplements brand Protein World sparked a social media storm with its controversial ‘Are you beach body ready?’ poster campaign.
Protests against the image of a bikini-clad young woman flooded in and the company suddenly found itself at the centre of a highly public news story unfolding in real time.
Bloggers, tweeters and facebook posters joined forces to decry the advert and eventually the Advertising Standards Authority ruled it should be taken down (interestingly, this was on the basis of potentially misleading health and weight loss claims; the ASA ruled the ad was not offensive).
While the brand initially took a very bullish, even combative approach – commenting that the social media storm was “fantastic news” – it later toned down its approach. You can follow the story blow by blow on this interesting blog.
Whatever your view of this particular story, it is the perfect illustration of the daunting challenge of managing corporate reputation in the digital age. When everyone from a disgruntled employee to a mischievous competitor can attack your brand on social media, how can you protect your reputation online?
Next month, IC is hosting a free breakfast seminar event for our clients and contacts to offer some practical advice.
We have invited leading media lawyers Alex Keenlyside and Imogen Allen-Back, from Pinsent Masons in London, to lead a session on how the law can be used to tackle common issues in social media reputation management.
Between them, the pair have more than 15 years’ experience working for major national and international brands. Using lifelike social media scenarios, they will talk through how common situations can unfold and what legal remedies can help. Team IC will also be on hand to share our advice from the communications side.
The event is an exclusive one for IC clients and contacts – part of a series of added value sessions we organise to share best practice and thinking.
If you’ve received an invitation, we look forward to seeing you there. If not, we will be sharing some hints and tips on this blog following the session, which takes place on Thursday October 13 at 8am.
For information about the event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.