By Megan Morgan, Senior Account Executive
Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the last few weeks, you’ll have clocked the storm brewing on social thanks to #bloggergate.
For those not so immersed in the Twittersphere – influencer and YouTuber Elle Darby put her shellacked and Louboutin-ed foot in it by sending a misinformed pitch to controversy-hungry Dublin hotel White Moose Café.
What started as an innocent, yet albeit unprofessional, collaboration request, and a bolshy response from White Moose owner Paul Stenson, quickly crept past the quirky line and became cruel.
Bloggers were banned, T shirts were made, and invoices were sent with both sides of the debate sharpening their pitchforks and baying for blood online.
There’s a fine line between making people laugh and launching a witch hunt, and blogger gate is an example of when a quirky PR response doesn’t know when to stop.
Being the right kind of edgy can work, but it’s like tending a bonfire. You can keep everyone happy and warm but add one too many logs and it’s out of control. But there are some who do it right.
Recently, Poundland has caused a stir with its ‘lewd’ toy elf. While its tea-bagging and hot tub antics resulted in a ban by the ASA – the public response was overwhelmingly positive with many praising the budget shops humour and wit.
And Bodyform came out on top in 2012 when its satirical video response to a Facebook rant went viral.
Quirky PR responses can, when done right, disperse crisis, win over critics and procure a few laughs. In White Moose’s case it can end up in International news coverage. But it can quickly turn sour and have lasting reputation-damaging effects. The bottom line: tread with caution. You can be edgy yet remain ethical. Don’t be quirky for quirky’s sake. If it’s on brand, great. If not, stick to what you know!