As May approaches and we leave April (and hopefully April showers) behind, here’s a look at some of the biggest talking points of the past month.
In early April, Pepsi released an advert that proved so controversial the company felt it necessary to pull the advert and apologise for its content.
The ad, which saw Kendall Jenner ease tensions between protestors and the police with a can of Pepsi, received a huge backlash. This is because it echoed protests such as the Black Lives Matter campaigns, as well as the now iconic picture of Ieshia Evans as she stood against riot officers in Baton Rouge.
It’s fair to say that the advert gained a lot of attention, and all for the wrong reasons. The ad led Bernie King, (the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.), to post a picture of her father being manhandled by police with the caption “If only Daddy would have known about the power of Pepsi”.
Pepsi has since apologised for the advert, and reasserted that its intention was to “project a global message of unity, peace and understanding”. However, they clearly missed the mark.
Nivea released an advertising campaign for their Black & White Invisible deodorant, with a tagline that led to far-right Facebook groups sharing and offering their support.
The tagline theychose… “White is Purity”. With the post appearing on the brands Twitter page, many were quick to point out the racist connotations. This led to the brand taking the ad down and issuing an apology in which they described the post as ‘misleading’.
We think appearing on far-right Facebook groups will be the wake-up call the brand needs to think before posting next time.
Perhaps one of the most talked about debacles of the month was the United Airlines story, in which a passenger was forcibly removed from his seat to make room for an airline employee.
Rightly so, people were outraged by the scenes. This has led to the airline having to act quickly in order to rebuild their damaged reputation.
Social media users from America, Vietnam and China almost immediately called for a boycott of the US carrier, as officials left the passenger, a doctor who had patients in the morning, bloodied and bruised.
Following the incident, the airline has released 10 ‘substantial’ changes they now feel necessary in the wake of this incident. These include things such as limiting the use of law enforcement to only safety and security issues, and increasing customer compensation for voluntary denied boarding up to $10,000.
Not only this, but United Airlines are now also refunding all passengers on the flight that witnessed the injustice the full price of their tickets. Will this be enough to repair the damage?
One of the most recent issues facing Facebook, is how they deal with individuals posting graphic content, to their Facebook Live feature. The majority of the time when disturbing videos are streamed, they can be left on Facebook for hours, allowing people to view and share the disturbing content.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerburg had vowed that the new feature would be readdressed following the live streaming of a murder in America, committed by Stephen Anthony. This video remained on Facebook for three house, with Anthony boasting about another 13 murders, and threatening to continue until he was caught.
There is a huge demand for Facebook to come up with a system in which horrific videos of this nature never make it online.
The ways in which brands react to their controversial decisions seems to have been at the forefront this month. In the coming months, it will be worth watching how these brands all deal with the pressures they are now facing.