Handling a dressing down: Tossed try a fresh approach to a Social Media crisis #MECthinks

George Cathcart, Digital Engagement Account Manager at MEC London, takes a closer look at Tossed’s (divisive) handling of their recent social media assault. 

It’s the stuff of nightmares. Or, at least, it can be a bit of a headache, when a brand finds themselves at the receiving end of a micro-blogging assault over their messaging or product. Indeed, most brands will have various processes, RACI charts, matrices and risk profiles, all sitting there ready to catch the ball if something comes in over the airwaves.

And there are well known examples of brands doing it right. Notable best-in-class examples from the likes of O2, in the wake of their service outage crisis, and the great handling of a Google listing issue from Greggs are great to reflect on, but in truth it’s rare for a brand to take such a risky stance in dealing with live issues. There are also a fair share of brands doing it wrong (that baking company who melted down on Facebook is case and point), but we’re not here to air dirty laundry.

A recent example of such an event popped up, where the restaurant, Tossed, came under fire for having a sign in their restaurant that had caused some offence with a well-known feminist author, Laurie Pennie.

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Whether you find “Don’t be fat and ugly… just be ugly!” offensive yourself, the subsequent response  is certainly an interesting way of responding to an issue. Not least for the tactic of using a photo of a long-form letter as the medium, but also for the way they have injected the brand’s personality, playfulness and perspective on the matter. It’s certainly not a ‘safe’ response, and does appear to have split opinion somewhat, but it’s definitely a refreshing sight to see a brand that’s not afraid to pin their proverbial flag to the mast and be prepared to go down with the ship if they hit a rocky swell.

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If you would like to debate social media assaults further please contact the Digital Engagement team through the @MECUK Twitter handle*

*N.B do not actually assault the Digital Engagement Team