So Protein World’s controversial Beach Ready advert has now been officially banned. Finally.
But do you know the biggest mistake they made wasn’t to produce a misogynistic advert that objectifies women. It was to ignore Wheaton’s Law.
Wheaton’s Law was coined by US Trekkie actor Wil Wheaton when referring to how users should behave when online gaming. It’s a simple and effective mantra that can be applied to all walks of life. DON’T BE A DICK.
So when faced with the online backlash over their poster campaign, had Protein World applied Wheaton’s Law then they wouldn’t have issued tweets like this:
The resulting twitter storm went global and #growupharriet started trending.
When dealing with customer complaints and vocal dissenters, remember that how you act as a brand is going to have as big, if not bigger, impact on the outcome than your original actions. Applying Wheaton’s Law will enable you to ride the storm with dignity and bring your brand out the other side relatively unharmed.
Still you could argue that the Grow up Harriet debacle was the rocket that catapulted Protein World from a near-unknown diet product to a worldwide internet sensation. Even if it was for all the wrong reasons – no publicity is bad publicity, right?