A Chronology of Brands that Got Punk’d by Social Media

(www.web-strategist.com)

A list of companies that were blind-sided by the internet, they didn’t understand the impacts of the power shift to the participants, or how fast information would spread, or were just plain ignorant.

Criteria of “Punk’d” includes a situation where the story would have not been told if social media was not available, or if social media enhanced the situation.

This doesn’t include fake blogs, companies who deliberately tried to cheat the system get their own honorable mention.


2008

Louis Vuitton gets Brand-Jacked in Anti-Genocide Campaign
Artist creates and sells T-shirt demonstrating how the media turns a deaf ear to real world tradgeies such as genocide in Dafur, infringing on LV logo. LV fires back, with lawsuit, a groundswell begins.

Burger King exec trash talks using daughter’s email
Not sure why he didn’t just create a new email address, that would have been a lot safer. Submitted by Hilker.

Johnson and Johnson to bloggers: Hurry up and get dis-invited
Sounds like a mis-coordination, bad timing, and not a well thought through process that ended up getting scobleized, and Maryamized.

2007


Target’s Rounders program “This is our secret game”

Target encouraged it’s premier members in the rounders program to pump up it’s brand in a Facebook group, sadly, the covert operation ended up on blogs and then mainstream media

HD DVD Decoded by Digg, unDugg, then Dugg again
Digg users publish HD code, industry freaks out, Digg maintains stance.

Wholefoods CEO caught being a troll

Whole Foods CEO, was anonymously trashing competitors and pumping company up on Yahoo finance boards.

Apple’s dirty little secret plastered over NYC
Apparently, 18 months is all the iPod will run before you’ll need to buy a new one, says this video, where street teams went around defacing ads. Submitted by David Churbuck (I got his name right this time)

Delta holds customers hostage
What’s worse than being held prisoner on Delta’s dirty plane? (Video), watching the crew getting off da plane. Oh, and no food, crying babies, but one talented videographer.

2006

Data storage blogger posts industry price lists, sales reps cry f#ck!
Robin Harris, one of the most well known of the data storage blogosphere posts price lists that were received from various customers.

Dell Laptop Explodes, news at 11 –on YouTube
More bad news for Dell, as laptops explode in Japan, all can see online.

Comcast suffers from Narcolepsy
Sleepy Techician caught on YouTube, then fired. Also see Comcast must die blog, submitted by Jeff Jarvis.

Hitachi Hell gets the finger
Angry customer gets bad service, writes long experience, and flips off HQ in picture, he’s also an influencer in the gaming community

The naked NOKA chocolate uncovered
A premium chocolatier (Noka) had a tremendous markup ($309- $2,080 per pound) of their secretly re-packaged chocolate, was exposed as a fraud and spread on blogs. And their google results is really painful. Submitted by Whitney.

AOL gets canceled –how to get get on my nerves
This guy really bothers me, I can see why Vincent Ferrari was miffed. It’s clear, he was dealing with the customer retention department. Nothing worse than the feeling of being held hostage. Submitted by David Alston.

Airplane fiasco’s spread online: JetBlue
There are so many examples, such as a YouTube testimonial about JetBlue’s 8+ hours stranded in terminal. Related: JetBlue’s CEO responds after flights are cut months later due to storm.

Starbucks Brandjacked by YouTube Video
Who wants a tasty frappuccino when there are kids starving? This was one of the first cases of brandjacking we saw.

2005

Why we Dwell on Dell Hell
Jeff Jarvis launches blog post that sends a flurry of PR negativty at Dell’s poor service, it’s since been improved.

2004

Kryptonite unlocked
Locks were disabled using a simple bic pen cap, spread on forums and blogs, one of the earliest examples that got mainstream attention.

2003

The Barbera Streisand Effect
Singer star tries to remove content from internet, it all goes downhill from there. I actually learned about this from reading my colleagues Groundswell book

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