by: David Polinchock
I've ben following the Motrin issue tonight and for me, I'm thinking that maybe it's gotten just a little blown out of proportion. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, go to Motrin.com and watch the video there. It's about "babywearing" and talks about how babywearing seems to be in fashion, but it's painful, etc. Seems to be a little tongue-in-cheek and, as a dad who did a lot of babywearing (I have great memories of Sydney on my back, while we x-country skied into down during a blizzard here in Montclair a few years back), it didn't really offend me.
But, apparently, it offended a lot of moms and they've been pretty vocal about it. What's interesting is the number of complaints I've read on twitter about how the agency isn't open on weekends and that no one has been monitoring the situation 24/7. For example, Twitter / carriekerpen said Their agency is totally NOT working on the weekend and she wasn't the only one poking at the agency, Taxi NY. Although, I'm not 100% sure she was really upset about the whole thing, judging by some of her other comments. Joyce Schwarz, writing about the controversy at Hollywood2020: Hollywood2020.net Blogger Reaches Motrin Ad Agency Rep: Agency Appeared to Knew NOTHING about TWITTER OUTRAGE writes about how hard it was to reach someone at the agency and, when she did, they didn't know anything about what was happening.
So I started to think about this and what the proper response should be. At what point should a company be responding to someone complaining about something. How many people need to complain before a response is needed? 1? 10? 100? And really, is it necessary to react to every single complaint immediately? Is it really appropriate for companies to make sure they're employees are available 24/7 to handle it every time someone says they don't like something the company did? I know that there's always someone complaining about what you do, so can you really handle all of those complaints? As I was writing about this, even my wife asked Don't people have better things to do? I admit that I get frustrated when I don't hear back from a company in a day or two, but I do give them some time to respond. And this is when I reach out to the company directly, not just blog or twitter it and expect someone to find it.
And what should the proper response be? Does anyone else find it just a little ironic that people are using Twitter to ask for the ad to be pulled because they find it offensive? Um, isn't that called censorship? At what point does a company need to remove their ad when people don't like it? Haven't there been other times when people have complained about how quickly companies have pulled ads because someone found it offensive?
I don't really have any answers here, just asking the questions. Maybe Motrin will (and should) apologize for upsetting people. Maybe the ad will disappear and they'll invite some of the people who complained to be part of a new committee to avoid such issues in the future. But, we'll still be trying to answer the question about how and how quickly a company needs to respond when people have a complaint.
Link: (3+) motrin - Twitter Search.
Link: #motrinmoms - Twitter Search.