The DiGiorno Pizza Domestic Abuse Fail
Updated: Feb 2
A story in two simple parts:
DiGiorno's usual style of snarky tweets blew up in their face in September of 2014. The hashtags "WhyIStayed" and "WhyILeft" trended in September of 2014 after elevator security camera footage surfaced of NFL star Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancée, leading to criminal charges and the end of his football career. Janay Palmer, now his wife, faced severe criticism for staying in the relationship, so people who experienced domestic abuse came out of the woodwork and explained that, no, it's not that simple.
Here's some tweets utilizing the hashtags for reference:
The poor social media person from DiGiorno did not realize the massive can of worms they opened by posting a quick tweet without checking what the hashtag was being used for. They immediately deleted the tweet and went on an apology spree, replying to Twitter users explaining that they made a grave mistake. DiGiorno's next move was to go nuclear and stop tweeting for the next three weeks, hoping that it would all blow over. It did, but their brand stagnated its social growth during that time period and for weeks following the debacle.
Off the cuff statements you could explain away or laugh off in person are forever engraved in the archives of the internet. I mean, I'm bringing this up seven years later. Nuance is crucial for a successful online presence. It all boils down to: think before you post. Better to miss a trend you don't understand than minimize the experiences of victims of abuse.
For more information on domestic abuse or to get help for yourself or someone you love, visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233.