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Real outrage or bot-rage?: Managing the fall-out of social media backlash

Marketers are dealing with a surreal impact of social media outrage and backlash against brands. Here's their offline story.

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Real outrage or bot-rage?: Managing the fall-out of social media backlash, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity
Real outrage or bot-rage?: Managing the fall-out of social media backlash, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

Updated: November 25, 2020, 09:02 IST

Instances of brand boycotts have been on the rise for a while, but such online outrage is, in most cases, outrageous.

Last week, netizens in some quarters of social mediacalled for boycotts against Zomatoand ITC's snack brand Bingo. A few weeks ago, Tata-owned jewellery brand

after it released a commercial showing an interfaith family gathering.

Real outrage or bot-rage?: Managing the fall-out of social media backlash, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity
Real outrage or bot-rage?: Managing the fall-out of social media backlash, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

The reasons for these boycotts have nothing to do with the actual products or services.

In Zomato's case, it was the company's reply to a tweet by actor and activist Swara Bhasker asking if the company plans to #DefundTheHate and pull your ads from hate espousing channels. She added, Im not okay with my money even indirectly funding this kind of communal bigoted hate! Pls let your consumers know. Zomato: Hi Swara, please note, we dont endorse any content except our own. That being said, we are looking into this. The outrage machine cried foul, they demanded Zomato make its stance clear, and threatened to uninstall the app en masse.

Also Read:

Zomatrolled: Food delivery major Zomato is the latest to face the ire of Twitter trolls

Real outrage or bot-rage?: Managing the fall-out of social media backlash, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity
Real outrage or bot-rage?: Managing the fall-out of social media backlash, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

Meanwhile, Bingo came under fire for a recent commercial featuring actor Ranveer Singh Fans of Sushant Singh Rajputclaim the ad makes a mockery of the actor who passed away earlier this year. The company responded with a statement clarifying that the ad was filmed in 2019, almost a year before Rajput's death, and the release was delayed due to the pandemic.

Also Read:

Sushant Singh Rajput fans trend #BoycottBingo; claim Ranveer Singh's ad mocks SSR

In all these cases, the charges made marketers' heads spin. Instances of brand boycotts have been on the rise for a wh

Real outrage or bot-rage?: Managing the fall-out of social media backlash, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity
Real outrage or bot-rage?: Managing the fall-out of social media backlash, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity