Pick n Pay shows the world how not to deal with online criticism [Update]

In a week that’s seen South African brands take a beating on Twitter, Pick n Pay should probably have known better than to ask someone to remove a tweet linking to a blog post that criticised a new sale campaign by the company.

The post in question, written by Celeste Barlow of the Reluctant Mom blog, takes particular issue with a promotional gift the retailer recently started giving out for purchases over R150.

In the post, Barlow complains that the introduction of Stickeez toys as a purchase reward (which are small plastic figurines attached to suction cups) mean that she can no longer do small trips to the shop as one Stickeez toy just doesn’t cut it when you’ve got three kids.

She imagines that the concept was created by a guy called Larry who most of the team thought “was a bit of a wanker anyway” and was just left to go at it because the toys were ridiculously cheap and no one really thought the campaign would work anyway.

The post has spread fairly rapidly across South African social media, resonating with parents whose children are going crazy for Stickeez.

Read more: Bic SA #HappyWomensDay poster stirs up social media, misses the point

But when TrendAfrica journalist Louise Marshland tweeted a link to the blog explaining that resonance, Pick n Pay asked her to delete her Tweet:

Cue a slew of Twitter users wondering what the hell Pick n Pay’s social media manager was thinking:

Read more: Personal branding and reputation management: what you need to know

Now whether you appreciate the content of the blog or not — it does wish an incurable venereal disease on the hypothetical Larry — you can’t argue that asking a journalist to remove a tweet that merely expresses support for the sentiment behind the content doesn’t rank as one of the best ideas out there.

Update: Pick n Pay has apologised:



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