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Facebook Marketing Stunt Backfires



Molson brewing company has pulled a promotion on Facebook after complaints that they promote binge drinking. They ran a photo contest targeting 19-24 year old college students.

Called the The Molson Canadian Nation Campus Challenge the ad said, “Be the #1 party school in Canada” and says that the school with the most pictures uploaded would win a trip for five people to spend spring break in Cancun, Mexico.

The next line said: “Show everyone how you and your crew get the party started!” Then it listed the top 10 party schools.Universities and parents both contacted the company to complain. Xavier University administrator Joe MacDonald, who is the dean of students said: “This is not something that is welcome within our campus community.”

I just checked and Molson Canada’s Facebook group has 17,567 members and they sponsor events on campuses. The contest was ended a week early.
Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland won but officials are checking to make sure the students in the photos are not underage. For most of Canada that means at least 19.

A Molson spokesman said they wanted to show school spirit not encourage drinking. They had over 200 photos submitted but none are viewable.
Molson Coors is the third-largest U.S. brewer behind Anheuser-Busch Cos. and SABMiller Plc.

Social media is sometimes trusted more than traditional media, especially on sites like Facebook. Marketers have to learn the unique dynamics of each community. Molson has been experimenting with different social media pieces, and have a blog about their community giving.

Some companies have got it right (Andy talked about how Nike and Dell get it but Apple doesn’t in this post), and larger brands sometimes struggle. Take Threadless for example. You know you’re doing things right when your customers market for you (like this blog started by someone who loves the company: http://www.lovesthreadless.com/).

If you’re thinking about marketing on Facebook, check out these tips from a previous post: http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2007/10/tips-to-marketing-on-facebook.html

Trackbacks

  1. [...] it uses the bloody F-word, this story is getting all sorts of attention from the blogosphere. Thanks to a Bloomberg wire story, it’s getting attention [...]

  2. [...] decision to pull a Facebook promotion after complaints that they promote binge drinking. They ran a photo contest targeting 19-24 year old college students on Facebook, if you haven’t heard by now.  Molson Coors is the third-largest U.S. brewer behind [...]

  3. [...] Molson: The Latest Social Media Blunder Molson brewing company has pulled a promotion on Facebook after complaints that they promote binge drinking. They ran a photo contest targeting 19-24 year old college students. Called the The Molson Canadian Nation Campus Challenge the ad said, “Be the #1 party school in Canada” and says that the school with the most pictures uploaded would win a trip for five people to spend spring break in Cancun, Mexico. The next line said: “Show everyone how you and your crew get the party started!” Then it listed the top 10 party schools.Universities and parents both contacted the company to complain. Xavier University administrator Joe MacDonald, who is the dean of students said: “This is not something that is welcome within our campus community.” [...]

  4. [...] Facebook Marketing Stunt Backfires: This article reveals how careless marketing tactics can lead to controversial, shady ad campaigns and bad public relations. [...]

  5. [...] Facebook Marketing Stunt Backfires: This article reveals how careless marketing tactics can lead to controversial, shady ad campaigns and bad public relations. [...]

  6. [...] Well, unlike the Molson Facebook group that backfired, Kokanee’s branded social media campaign has nothing to do with shotgunning cans [...]

  7. [...] Facebook Marketing Stunt Backfires: This article reveals how careless marketing tactics can lead to controversial, shady ad campaigns and bad public relations. [...]

  8. [...] Facebook Marketing Stunt Backfires: This article reveals how careless marketing tactics can lead to controversial, shady ad campaigns and bad public relations. [...]

  9. [...] Molson: The Latest Social Media Blunder Molson brewing company has pulled a promotion on Facebook after complaints that they promote binge drinking. They ran a photo contest targeting 19-24 year old college students. Called the The Molson Canadian Nation Campus Challenge the ad said, “Be the #1 party school in Canada” and says that the school with the most pictures uploaded would win a trip for five people to spend spring break in Cancun, Mexico. The next line said: “Show everyone how you and your crew get the party started!” Then it listed the top 10 party schools.Universities and parents both contacted the company to complain. Xavier University administrator Joe MacDonald, who is the dean of students said: “This is not something that is welcome within our campus community.” [...]

  10. [...] Facebook Marketing Stunt Backfires: This article reveals how careless marketing tactics can lead to controversial, shady ad campaigns and bad public relations. [...]

  11. [...] many brands, it looks like Molson also had to learn a social media lesson along the way to get to where they’re at today. I anticipate Molson will continue to try new [...]

  12. [...] Facebook Party with Molson ends up with Hangover Molson invited folks to share party pics in Facebook, including with youth, which resulted in a backlash from community and parents. Molson withdrew the campaign and went home early –no more Facebook partying for this brand. [...]

  13. [...] Result: Getting your consumers to engage in social media with your company is a valuable experience for both parties, that is unless you’re a beer company and your consumer is 17. It isn’t good for either party when you’re promoting, well, underage partying. [...]

  14. [...] Facebook Marketing Stunt Backfires: This article reveals how careless marketing tactics can lead to controversial, shady ad campaigns and bad public relations. [...]

  15. [...] Well, unlike the Molson Facebook group that backfired, Kokanee’s branded social media campaign has nothing to do with shotgunning cans [...]

  16. […] Result: Getting your consumers to engage in social media with your company is a valuable experience for both parties, that is unless you’re a beer company and your consumer is 17. It isn’t good for either party when you’re promoting, well, underage partying. […]