Mortein’s Social Media Backlash

The Mortein “Like” our facebook page to save Louie the Fly campaign has faced criticism after its announcement of cutting 190 Australian manufacturing jobs to move offshore.

As expected, the facebook wall had +200k negative comments on their facebook wall. The following exert is Mortein’s facebook post to their fans in the middle of a stream of negative comments: “You may have seen the announcement by the owners of Mortein, Reckitt Benckiser, about the planned closure of manufacturing in Australia. Some of you have commented on this page and your frustrations have been heard. Out of respect for the current situation I have been told that my campaign has ended. Public voting to date and online sentiment have clearly demonstrated your support for me – there’s no need to vote any further. I want to thank you all for your messages.

Learning’s to take away from this:

  • Don’t use the term “Killing off” in a PR stunt for a fictional mascot character when you’re company is planning on affecting real lives in a negative way, e.g. culling 200 jobs.
  • Make sure Marketing works in conjunction with top management decision to ensure all outgoing communication is congruent, especially when it’s something that affects the live of the general public
  • Be proactive with your Facebook conversations and address company issues on an on-going basis, not with comments that come across as “statements”. Use the facebook page as a conversation with your audience and not a PR wall
  • Face the issue, be real and don’t ignore negative comments on your facebook wall (something DPE do very well).

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