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November 22, 2011


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I don't know if I call this newsjacking, but someone has in real-time created a YouTube parody http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTCwPlWzZnQ&feature=share


Epic fail... really?! Unfortunate timing (I'd even discuss bad timing) is all it is.

Digital people should lighten up a bit.


Qantas as a brand is an #epicfail right now. The Twitter promotion simply exposed how out of touch with reality they seem to be.

Tim Reid

David, I thought you might like job description I wrote for the new social media manager's job at QANTAS -> http://www.theideasguy.com/business-building/job-ad-social-media-manager-qantas/


It just goes to show how bad timing can erode a brand's online presence, especially on a site like Twitter where people can use hash tags any way they want. It can turn your brand into an open target.

Carden Calder

David great post. Couldn't agree more about timing, lameness and the leap from social media to mainstream news. Australian senior corporate affairs people last week (http://www.cardencalder.com/2011/11/qantasluxury-social-media-stand-up.html) were talking about social media rules of engagement and the interplay with traditional media...this is going to make a great case study. Qantas (normally great at PR) failed communication 101 - "know your audience" on this one.

Scott Paddingville

Like Qantas made a couple of mistakes in the past and the twitter announcement is indeed a perfect example of bad timing and Qantas doesn't know at the moment what they are doing, but just looking at the past couple months and forgetting of how good they were last years does that make them a bad company?

Discount Ink

Epic fail indeed.Maybe they are not expecting this to happen.It was just a typo error on there side.LOL.Funny how they came up with such ridiculous news.

Steve Fogg

Couldn't agree more David. One additional point I would make is that it makes the consumer think the company is just plain insensitive. What you didn't report was that the company walked away from IR negotiations the day before which was widely reported, then switched on this online marketing campaign.

Qantas also come across as disorganised. I suspect management didn't tell marcoms and/or marcoms wasn't paying attention to what the big picture was like. If they were then it just demonstrates their incompetence at communicating internally. Any social media/marketing noob could see this train wreck coming a mile away if they were aware of the big picture. Why didn't someone say something?

I've been blogging about Qantas from a marcom's perspective for the last few weeks and it seems to be quite a big deal for many Australian's. We generally consider Qantas as our national carrier and have a strong emotional connection to the brand, it's part of our national identity.

Well, at least until now.

Qantas has a lot to do to regain the high degree of trust it had with its main market here in Australia. This campaign is a great example of how to suck at going about doing it.

David Meerman Scott

Steve -- exactly. It seems that by not paying attention to what is going on, Qantas comes across as not caring. Thanks.


This #fail interests me greatly due to the simple fact that Twitter is such a new social media medium. It is interesting to see who ran the twitter account for Quantas and who approved the starting of this contest. Considering all of the negative things the company was already involved in you would think this "poor timing" would be a #duh! not a #whoknew? The public backlash through this is going to teach the company a good lesson (or the individual who may or may not have their job still) on what is appropriate behavior for utilizing such a public and social form of media. At least some of us can appreciate learning from their mistakes!

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