There is more press on the Motrin ad this morning. Last night I wrote more about the peril of not being tuned into social media more than the ad itself (again, I thought it was patronising), Chip Griffin brings a more accepting take on the whole incident:
Unfortunately, Motrin ran into the Blogosphere Buzzsaw when a number of “Mommy Bloggers” and other social media leaders took exception to the video. Some objected to the spot’s suggestion that Moms might seem harried and even look a little crazy after treking around with their kids all day. Others claimed that devices like slings eliminate pain and alleged that Motrin was targeting Moms who used them.
And, of course, when nobody from Motrin stepped up within the first few hours to respond, the piling on spread beyond Moms to many others from their blog and Twitter pulpits. After all, the unwritten rules state that a company must respond when and how the Blogosphere wants at all times. Otherwise, they “don’t get it” or “don’t care.”
Granted social media folks do tend to get all in a dither about a topic quickly and when we do the posts and tweets fly around like blazes. Yes, sometimes these are tempests in teapots, other times not. however that doesn’t mean the concerns aren’t valid nor that they shouldn’t be responded to.
Chip makes some good counter points to the criticism that’s flying around, but I have to take issue with this bit:
Not Everyone Monitors 24/7. As someone who owns a media intelligence company, I would love to see every company have someone dedicated around the clock, 365 days a year to monitoring everything remotely relevant in both traditional and online media. But that’s an absurd expectation — unless you are a blogger on the warpath. In the case of Motrin, we’re not talking about a crisis involving tainted pills or something life-threatening, or even a case of a serious ethical or moral transgression, but rather stylistic and tonal objections to an online ad campaign. If there’s no response on a Saturday afternoon, that’s not an indication that the company doesn’t get it or ignores social media. It’s possible that some of the bloggers and Twitterers may actually step away from their computers for a few hours every now and then.
Having launched lots of sites in the Web 1.0-2.0 worlds, some of which potential controversial (like an HIV site for a pharma that made the two main HIV drugs at the time), we were on call and actively watching for reaction (or hacking) for the first couple days or so. It didn’t matter if we launched on Friday or not, it was just prudent (this is also why I like to launch new sites on Tuesday or Wednesday, so I don’t lose a weekend if something blows up). So I don’t buy Chip’s point here. If I were Taxi NYC – McNeil wouldn’t have launched late in the week, especially not on a Friday, and would have had all hands on deck to monitor the conversation.
No, you don’t have to sit in front of your machine all the time. Bookmarking a twitter search, having Google alerts mailed to you, few RSS tricks and you can monitor and have a life in the critical first 48 hours.
Sure, maybe the video didn’t need to be pulled. Maybe it could have been done differently. Maybe they were all listening but chasing their tails trying to figure out what to do. The bottom line is that today there a bunch of people who have gotten their first social media black eye and now need to do some damage control and bridge building.
That’s life in the hyperconnected world of the world of social media.