Social Media: Saatchi’s Screw Up

“Toyota’s now disastrous foray into social media offers a demonstration of what skills an agency needs to play in that space. It’s now obvious that PR expertise is not an optional extra that ad agencies having a bit of a dabble in social media can do without. Although advertising has always had the potential to be controversial, for social media that possibility grows exponentially and that risk needs to be controlled. And as Saatchi & Saatchi has demonstrated, it now goes without saying that you actually need to understand social media before you start. You can’t start learning on the client’s time.”
I won’t bore you with the details, as the above post is very detailed … and this graphic is very telling …
There have been a few comments flying around to the effect that “any publicity is good publicity” – a notion I reject. Toyota doesn’t have an awareness problem … but it may have a perception problem. Something like this can only have a negative impact on the latter.
In mitigation, at least Australia is a small-ish territory (Pop. 22MM) , and I don’t think many of Toyota’s prospects will have been exposed to this (in Australia or elsewhere) … except us social media nerds that is …

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