Record response from company following a few hours of twitter action
This is the story about the fastest response from a company I have ever seen.
It is also testament to the power of new forms of social media.
I was at my desk, (which sounds better than saying ‘I was in bed reading Facebook updates on my phone’), when I saw a FB message sent Saturday from my fellow advocate for girls, Dannielle Miller. It was about a Harvey Norman ad she’d heard on Sydney radio station Nova:
So I thought I’d send a few tweets about it while working yesterday afternoon. While I had hoped the tweets would make their way to the company at some stage, I hadn’t realised Harvey Norman was also @HarveyNorman – on twitter.
Here’s a couple from the first batch I sent:
I called for a boycott. Harvey Norman was next on the list for Collective Shout’s ‘Cross ‘em off your Christmas list’ campaign (Don’t give sexploitation companies your Xmas dollar).
My twitter followers got fired up. One was about to buy a TV from Harvey Norman. Not anymore. @Cbngal tweeted this:
Then this lobbed into to my twitter feed:
I realised Harvey was also hanging around the twitterverse on a Sunday afternoon. And reading my tweets, including a re-working of the ‘Go Harvey Norman’ theme (suggesting where they could go, which probably wasn’t very nice).
Journalist Sandra Lee @Fittoprint tweeted ‘the smell of victory’. I hoped she was right but didn’t want to expect too much.
Gary Wheelhouse, head of social media for Harvey Norman, then emailed me:
So I tweeted on his prompt reply. And expected to hear back on Monday.
Forty-five minutes later I received this:
Lyndal Gabriel heads up Harvey Norman’s radio and TV advertising.
Ms Gabriel informed me that the ad had just started running on the weekend, only on NOVA, and was pulled at 8pm. She emailed this comment this morning:
As a Retailer we do not wish to offend anybody, and as such when Gary picked up the comments on Social Media, we immediately acted and pulled the ad.
So all in all a mere four hours of action for the ultimate result.
While of course you have to ask who it was at Harvey Norman that thought this ad appropriate to run at all, I think it is important to commend corporations who recognise they stuffed up and act promptly to make amends.
The only other time I have seen a comparatively quick response was when Best & Less acted speedily to withdraw a padded push-up bra – for tweenagers – after I blogged about it in February. (In contrast, some retailers - like Roger David - don’t bother responding at all).
I really hope this account gives encouragement to other activists and would-be activists, that we really can make a difference. Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation has achieved some significant wins in its first year. Get on board, shout out against sexploitation in all its forms.