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DiGiorno Pizza Inadvertently Makes Light Of Domestic Violence

Faceless Company Makes Faux Pas On Twitter: More News At 11

DiGiorno can do it all. When not providing delicious oven pizza to their swathes of fans, they’re interacting with their 81 thousand followers on Twitter, all of whom have become accustomed to some of the greatest corporate humour this side of the Old Spice commercials. If every company understood Twitter like DiGiorno, we’d be out of a job. So how have these social media superstars ended up as the latest company in hot water over something they've shared? Hacking? A fired worker taking revenge? Temporary legal insanity?

The answer, for once, is none of the above. Instead, it was a horrible and genuine mistake that almost ended up undoing all the good work DiGiorno has put into their social media presence over the last couple of years. Yesterday, the company used a hashtag they found floating around Twitter to make a pizza-centric gag.

All innocent enough, except from the fact that, unbeknownst to the company, the #WhyIStayed hashtag was in reference to recent shocking footage from the world of American football, in which a Baltimore Ravens player was filmed attacking his then-fiancée in the lift of an Atlantic City hotel. Sufferers of domestic abuse were using the hashtag to share their own personal horror stories, and detail how they became forced to stay with abusive partners.

It was a stupid, avoidable mistake, and one which shouldn’t have been made.

However, what has since set DiGiorno apart from the rest of the Twitter miscreant crew has been their mature and honest response to the blunder. The company did more than just delete the offending tweet, make a quick apology and then move on.

Instead, they behaved with honesty, integrity and maturity, proceeding to send out apologies to literally dozens of Twitter users who had been left offended. These subsequent tweets, each personalised responses, came across as heartfelt and genuine, and suggest that whoever is responsible for the DiGiorno Twitter account feels truly upset about what has happened.

The whole thing serves as yet another reminder that companies have to be incredibly careful on social media. Years of quality interaction can be undone by one mistake, and a legion of loyal followers can become disillusioned in your company if they spot you saying the wrong thing even once. For better or for worse, it's the truth: the internet doesn't forget. But it can, sometimes, be made to forgive. And due to the earnest response by DiGiorno, this looks to be one of those rare occasions. In the wake of a horrible mistake, it’s almost refreshing to see a company care as deeply about the feelings of its customers as the pizza makers have showcased.

DiGiorno’s failure to research the hashtag before using it was a great example of what not to do. Their reaction, however, was a heartwarming and honourable lesson on what should be done after. As users of social media within the role of business, we should take a few moments to ensure we've learnt from both.


Emile is a postgrad from the University of Saint Mark and Saint John. He’s hoping to break into journalism or publishing, and won’t stop blogging until he’s managed it! Follow him @EmileAtSMF.

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DiGiorno Pizza Inadvertently Makes Light Of Domestic Violence Reviewed by Emile Cole on Friday, September 12, 2014 Rating: 5
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