Mc Donald’s Twitter US promotion backfires over personal horror stories

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 27th January 2012

McDonald’s has become the victim of public outbursts after critics of the company hijacked a promotional hashtag on Twitter created by the fast-food conglomerate.

McDonald’s last week joined the social media bandwagon by releasing a campaign on Twitter featuring “paid-for tweets” – tweets which are sponsored advertising platforms that connect advertisers and large companies, I.E Mc Donald’s, to tweeters. This campaign was to appear at the top of all search results.

The initial hashtag “#MeetTheFarmers”, was meant to promote Mc Donalds’ guarantee of fresh produce and meats, with concentration on “wholesome stories” about their farmers.

Initially, the campaign was a success, with tweets from Mc Donald’s, “Meet Dirk Gianni, Mc Donald’s lettuce supplier, as he shows us his life on the farm.”

However, on Wednesday 18 January 2012, more generalized hashtags were sent out by the corporation, which resulted in accusations from unsatisfied customers.

The hashtags then became an opportunity to document horror stories about Mc Donald’s on an online platform. Twitter users claimed to have received food poisoning from the restaurant, while others claim the meat used at Mc Donald’s was pig meat from gestation crates.

Mc Donald’s social media director Rick Wion commented on the backlash, “Within an hour, we saw that it wasn’t going as planned.”

On the other hand, the #MeetTheFarmers hashtag narrowly escaped the negative banter, generating mostly positive tweets.