Is this insurance company the worst hashtag hijacker ever?
The world was rocked following the news of the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela, and it wasn’t long before messages of respect and emotional tributes began flooding onto social networks.
However, for one New York-based insurance company, the passing of the global icon apparently proved too good an advertising opportunity, resulting in this slew of tasteless tweets:
Many reached out to express their disgust and outrage, and while it’s unclear whether the tweets were automated or some kind of terribly misguided joke, a quick scroll through @4insureme’s timeline reveals that the company is not averse to hijacking terrible news in a bid to promote itself. It’s previous ‘campaign’ saw it mock late Fast and the Furious actor Paul Walker, who died in a car accident on November 30. In one tweet, the company even says: “Yo Paul, I heard you had an accident. No problem, we specialize in high risk drivers.”
More recently, the company has been quick to jump on the #LiesObamaToldUs hashtag – only marginally more relevant to its operations, but still one a business would do well to stay away from:
We’ve seen many examples of companies thoughtlessly hijacking current affairs in a bid to make themselves known, from Kenneth Cole using unrest in Cairo to promote its new spring collection, to Habitat shoving the #Mousavi hashtag on a tweet promoting a sale. But given the repeated offenses of 4insureme, the outrage they’ve caused and the fact that those tweets remain on its feed, is this the most thoughtless case of hashtag hijacking ever?