McDonald's cuts Twitter ad after negative comments


The world’s biggest restaurant chain said an ad on Twitter backfired after people began using the social-media website to criticize the company. A Twitter label, meant to promote a campaign about the company’s suppliers, “did not go as planned,” Rick Wion, McDonald’s social media director, said in an e-mailed statement. “With all social media campaigns, we include contingency plans should the conversation not go as planned.”

The company quickly pulled the Twitter label last week after the negative posts, he said. People questioned Mickey D’s food quality and the cleanliness of its restaurants. McDonald’s supplier campaign, meant to tell customers about where the company’s food comes from, was introduced 1/ 2 and also includes TV and Facebook ads. It also recently advertised Chicken McBites and McCafe drinks via Twitter.

McDonald’s, with more than 31,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide, has a Twitter team of 10 employees who post about news and promotions, according to its website.

RBR-TVBR observation: The dark side of social media for marketers: It may be inexpensive and extremely effective, but boy can it backfire when every consumer has an instant voice. Certainly, theory has it that sometimes these social media product or service bashers are actually hired teams on a large scale or friends/family/employees of the competition—especially against local scale retailers.