CLEVELAND: Sherwin-Williams is getting blowback from social media users who strongly disagree with the paint brand’s decision to fire staffer (and social media star) Tony Piloseno over his popular TikTok page.
Piloseno mixes paints on his TikTok channel, @tonesterpaints, which has more than 1.2 million followers. But when the senior sales associate approached Sherwin-Williams’ marketing department to show them how popular his page is and with advice for reaching younger audiences, he was fired for making videos during work hours with company equipment, according to BuzzFeed News.
Julie Young, Sherwin-Williams VP of global corporate communications, told BuzzFeed that a customer complained about Piloseno’s videos.
"We take all complaints seriously and thoroughly investigated the customer’s concerns,” said Young. “Following the investigation, Mr. Piloseno was let go in July 2020 due to multiple company policy violations."
A Sherwin-Williams representative was not immediately available for additional comment. The company works with agency Carmichael Lynch Relate.
Sherwin-Williams was trending on Twitter on Monday, with high-profile users commenting on how the company is throwing away a perfect marketing opportunity by firing Piloseno.
Firing the Sherwin Williams guy is like Ocean Spray sending the skateboard dude a cease and desist.— Jonny Chase (@JonnyChase00) November 23, 2020
Putting bets down that Sherwin-Williams is going to make their own 'official' paint mixing tik-tok and give this guy exactly zero credit.— Brittain Avery (@_BrittainAvery) November 23, 2020
This is 100% a marketing exec that got jealous.
Capitalism breeds innovation or whatever lie libertarians tell themselves https://t.co/aC0f9Gni4R
.@SherwinWilliams should beg this kid to come back, apologize publicly, promote him, and pay him $100 an hour. Or @Benjamin_Moore should swoop and make him their king. Because paint, ffs. Who gets this excited about paint? https://t.co/NE8NYXmAgQ— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) November 23, 2020
Meanwhile Target is actively seeking employees to make TikToks in an attempt to stay relevant. Sherwin-Williams not only had someone relevant but wildly creative. With any luck, he will take his 1.4M followers, invent a line of paints and compete with them https://t.co/qVfWRTOofc— Erika K Nardini (@EKANardini) November 23, 2020
Whew, @SherwinWilliams. Help us to understand this reasoning. Because it seems like you fired an innovative employee who was positively affecting your brand awareness and market share. https://t.co/nQAx6N7cY4— April (@ReignOfApril) November 23, 2020
So this kid— Shannon4OH (@ShannonFreshour) November 23, 2020
-loved his job
-was great at it
-built a massive digital/social media presence around it
-offered it to his company
-instead they fired him
now they have a huge pr/social media mess because they painted themselves as villains
Well play @SherwinWilliams good job#pun https://t.co/SVC2nN7Bw9
This is HILARIOUSLY stupid https://t.co/zVlpMcLfiC— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) November 23, 2020