Let’s get started with our fourth edition of Backlash Of Brands, where we take a look at which brands are currently faced with a crisis management issue, or having a “opps” moment that is making headlines. In this edition we will take a look at Loblaws and Snapchat.
Rising Costs, Rising Concerns, Loblaws Upsets Consumers
Back in January, Canada’s largest grocery retailer, Loblaws was caught with its “hand in the cookie jar.” Loblaws had been
artificially inflating the price of bread sold in their stores for the last 14 years. Loblaws started offering $25 gift cards after admitting its role in this industry wide price-fixing scandal. The retailer had estimated that three to six million customers would sign up, costing the company up to $150 million. To receive the gift card consumers were asked to enter their personal information into a website which at first raise numerous flags with consumers as the site failed to clearly explain the process and what would happen with the information provided.
From Bad To Worse
Last week Loblaws managed to make an already bad situation worse by asking consumers for proof of ID before they are able to redeem their $25 gift card. The move prompted concerns from privacy experts and class action lawyers saying that consumers should not hand over ID information such as driver’s licences as it puts them at risk for identity fraud.
Kevin Groh, Vice-President of Corporate Affairs and Communications for Loblaw, was quoting as saying “For a small percentage, we’ve asked for proof of name and address. No customer has to submit a driver’s license. Our first suggestion is that customers can send a utility bill—like a hydro or phone bill—which doesn’t contain sensitive information. ID will be collected through a secure channel, verified, then destroyed.”
Some consumers have said they will no longer shop at Loblaws or any of its affiliated retail stores.
Rihanna Snaps Back At Snapchat, Stock Takes Another Crash
Snapchat has done it again, they have turned another celebrity against the social media site, following Kylie Jenner viral tweet less than a month ago.
Snapchat allowed the ad (see below) captured in this tweet to be published via its self-serving advertising platform despite a policy which states, “All ads are subject to our review and approval.” The ad quickly prompted a ton of negative feedback from users, but of course others who caught the backlash.
Is it just me, or is this ad that popped up on my Snapchat extremely tone deaf? Like what were they thinking with this? pic.twitter.com/7kP9RHcgNG
— Royce Mann (@TheRoyceMann) March 12, 2018
You may recall back in 2009 the domestic violence incident between Rihanna and ex-boyfriend Chris Brown. Rihanna posted on her Instagram (a head on rival of Snapchat) the following, “Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there,” Rihanna said in a statement posted Thursday on rival social media platform Instagram, where she has 61 million followers. “I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb! You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it!!!”
Hit Them Where It Hurts
As a result of the backlash Snapchat’s market value dropped almost $800 million, or 4%.