Vodafone and the revolution – PR Comment

A Vodafone advert suggesting the company’s Our Power marketing campaign served as inspiration for the revolution that led to the resignation of Hosni Mubarak is causing uproar in Egypt.

While Vodafone is not the first company to jump on the Revolution-bandwagon for marketing purposes, Egyptians are reacting furiously to the (allegedly leaked and aimed at internal consumption only) Vodafone’s video due to the fact that it was one of the companies shutting down Internet and mobile services under Mubarak’s orders in his attempt to isolate anti-regime protesters.

Taking into account the role of social networks during the demonstrations and the company’s decision to comply with Mubarak’s calls for network shutdowns, it is surprising (and very ill-judged) Vodafone would engage in this type of revolutionary-euphoria advertising, specially just a few months after the events.

Were PR/Marketing bosses trying to switch to the winning side? Changing their tune and re-writing Vodafone’s role? Either way, what is done is done, Vodafone.

PR wise it would have been better to just keep the head down and move swiftly on, instead of adding insult to injury by claiming to be part of the revolution. A bit over the top? We believe so.

*This post by blogger Mohamed El-Dahshan and article from The Guardiancapture the company’s PR disaster

 

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