ChapStick, and parent company Pfizer, forgot one of the great rules of customer relations this week: “When you're in a hole, stop digging.”
First, the company ran provocative ads depicting a woman in tight jeans looking through a couch for her lost ChapStick – no doubt funny to some but considered sexist by many others. Strike one.
But then ChapStick deleted many of the negative comments about the ad on its Facebook page. Strike two for not responding well to criticism in the social media age, although Pfizer did pull the ad. Ray Kerins, VP of corporate communications at the company, told The Wall Street Journal that its decision to pull the ad “is a good example of us hearing what people have to say, making a determination, and taking action.”
However, ChapStick customers aren't happy with that either.
Business Insider's Kim Bhasin summed up the issue well when she said “brands like ChapStick have to learn to accept the negative with the positive, especially in a world with social media. By simply opening a dialogue with those angered and listening to their complaint, this could've been avoided. And the folks at Chapstick would've generated some goodwill, showing that they actually give a crap about what people think.”