Microsoft has their tail between their legs after a cheap marketing tweet caused a real stir online. The software giant has been forced to make an apology following a marketing tweet aiming to raise money for victims of the tsunami and earthquake in Japan provoked a mixed response.
The technology super power yesterday asked followers of its search engine Twitter account @Bing to re-tweet a message, with every re-tweet meaning that an extra $1 would be donated by Microsoft, up to $100,000. I think the signs of a cheap marketing stunt were very clear to see and the backlash from followers was quick to follow.
Many twitter users following were asking why Microsoft didn’t simply donate the money, rather than trying to gain exposure, after all if you are a multi billion pound organisation this isn’t alot to ask. Microsoft should have realised this isn’t like asking the public to place a vote for X-Factor, this is about helping those in a natural disaster zone so teasing people with their wealth and what they would do with their loose change leaves a rather sour taste in my mouth.
The company however did later tweet a clarification message: “We apologise the tweet was negatively perceived. Intent was to provide an easy way for people to help Japan. We have donated $100K.”
The money was donated after the huge earthquake last week that culminated in a tsunami that has led to thousands losing their lives and many others still missing. The after effects will likely be there for those to see for many years to come so lets hope that any other giant corporations take a slightly more direct and positive route to helping and they don’t all ask to have their belly’s tickled and egos massaged first.