Kellogg’s UK rethinks offering food to hungry kids in exchange for retweets

Twitter critics jumped all over the brand, saying it shouldn’t make charity contingent on social media promotion.

Something brands have been doing on Twitter for years now is asking for retweets and offering a dollar or some other small donation to charity for each one. For instance, The History Channel offered $1 (up to a total of $50,000) to veterans’ charities for each tweet that used the hashtag #thankavet on Veterans Day. It seemed to work. Sometimes it doesn’t, though. Kellogg’s UK got in some trouble over the weekend when it sent a tweet that read, “1 RT = 1 breakfast for a vulnerable child.”

The tweet was retweeted hundreds of times, but critics found tying feeding hungry children to retweets of a brand account distasteful:

Kellogg’s deleted the tweet and apologized on Twitter.

Later, it apologized again.

As always, the responses to the mea culpa were a mixed bag. Some people accepted the apology, some asked whether Kellogg’s would donate the breakfasts without the retweets, and some directly challenged the brand’s wording.

So why did The History Channel’s campaign, which similarly tied donating to veterans’ charities to retweets, and dozens of other campaigns like it, get by while Kellogg’s got lambasted? Was it really a language problem? Are these types of Twitter campaigns just a big gamble? Please chime in, PR Daily readers. (Image via)


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