Protein World: A Lesson in Social Media Damage Control? 

In the spring of 2015, Protein World (a supplier of workout supplements) unveiled their “Are You Beach Body Ready?” campaign, renting advertising space on billboards and trains, supplemented by postings on social media – most notably via Twitter. The campaign poster included a slender, toned, young woman donned in only a bikini, asking the audience a simple question – are you beach body ready?

This move served to contradictingly both comply with and completely subvert the findings outlined by Noort and Willemsen (2011), in which the key take-away was that companies can help to mitigate damage through responding quickly and directly to negative online conversations, while striving to “improve brand evaluations by showing that they take the problems of customers seriously”. But surprisingly, not taking customers seriously (but still taking the time to respond to them) appeared to work in their favour, with the company reportedly generating an additional £1 Million in sales as a result of the backlash (Brinded, 2015). But this raises a question difficult to answer – would they have been more successful if they hadn’t taken to insulting and marginalising a large section of the public?

Source: Protein World: A Lesson in Social Media Damage Control? 

One thought on “Protein World: A Lesson in Social Media Damage Control? 

  1. Great choice of topic!

    I remember when this story broke and the commotion that occurred soon after!

    Would they have been better off if they didn’t use their tactic?

    In my opinion the market for protein is a crowded one with a wealth of competition with names like “max plus” and “grenade energy” connoting explosive results. I’m sure marketing is a huge factor due to the product being arguably a commodity good. I guess you could agree with the saying “there is no such thing as bad publicity”. This is probably a short term gain with long term side effects – I can imagine influencers shying away from the brand because of all the negative PR. It will be interesting to see how sales are doing now in 2017 as the dust has settled compared to their original projections before it all took off.

    I’ve gone wild with this but cheers Asher.

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