Ford upsets bloggers more; no sign of an apology in the horizon!

One of the things that upsets me the most in life is when someone makes a mistake then ignores it completely – like nothing’s happened – instead of standing up and take responsibility for his actions. While individuals may – sometimes – get away with it, I don’t think that companies, especially big ones like Ford Motors, should be spared off the hook.

It is as simple as this: You make a mistake, you offend people, you apologize. 

After offending the whole ME blogsphere by stating that there isn’t enough bloggers to replicate their successful Ford’s Fiesta’s social media campaign in the US, and after the uproar of angry bloggers for the ignorant comment of Ford’s officials in the region, one would expect a damage-control in the form of a simple APOLOGY.

Ford upsets ME bloggers

Ford upsets ME bloggers

 

 

Instead, Ford ME managed to make things worse. Their PR agency contacted Dima Hamadeh, the writer of the Business 24/7 article in which she mentioned Ford official‘s comment about ME bloggers, and asked her about her source of information. Surprisingly enough – to them of course – the source is Ford themselves! That triggered a very valid question posted by Dima Hamadeh on Fake Plastic Souq blog :

Ford Fiesta‘s smart social media campaign backfires in the Middle East

Bloggers power is one of today’s world facts; it is a major social media tool that has a very high effect in influencing people and setting trends around the globe. Ford Automobile was smart enough to realize this; they came up with a brilliant marketing campaign that is unprecedented in the automobile segment. The campaign was based on recruiting 100 bloggers (trend-setters) – they call them Agents -. Those Agents were given Ford Fiesta cars to test drive and complete different missions for 6 months. They were asked to report and share their experience online through their blogs, tweets, photos and videos in order to show people what Ford Fiesta is all about before its launch in 2010 in the U.S.

Ford Fiestas social media campaign fails!

Ford Fiesta's social media campaign fails!

The campaign generated a good amount of positive buzz in the U.S with those Agents roaming the country and sharing their experiences. Sebastian for instance – one of the agents – blogged his wonderful experience of meeting people in his road trip. He posted pictures and videos on his blog and advertised it through his twitter account with tweets like:

@YogaArmy: @WongKendall @jestdempsey @MachinePassion @spotonpr @justy84wvu Check out our Ford Fiesta Adventures on our blog www.phashionarmy.com

Others also documented the movement’s effect on twitter:

@phashion_tv: The Ford Fiesta Movement is having an Awesome Effect!! Ford Stock is UP !! @yogaarmy @phashion_tv #fiestamovement”

One would think that with such amazing campaign there is little room for messing things up. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened when Ford failed in one of their most important regions of the world which according to Business 24/7 accounts for half of their global exports – the Middle East -.

It only took one irresponsible comment from Ford’s Middle East officials to trigger a wave of anger among the Middle Eastern blogsphere and turn a very successful social media campaign into a roar of attacks against Ford. The acknowledgement of the power of bloggers that helped their success in the U.S. was replaced with complete disregard of Middle Eastern bloggers. Ford’s officials claimed that they cannot replicate the campaign in the region which according to them still lags behind other cyber marketing tools. They stated that they have invited bloggers to offer their inputs but unfortunately that generated no response.

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