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@Bing Promotion Using Japan Tragedy on Twitter Backfires

Bing Tweetup Campaign Backfires

Bing created lots of controversy after attempting to use the tragedy in Japan for self-promoting on Twitter.


The company tweeted a message asking people to retweet it and in return it would donate one dollar for each retweet up to $100k. The actual tweet message is shown below and can be seen here.

Users reacted quickly and brashly to Bing’s tweet. Most accused Bing of using the devastation as an opportunity to self promote instead of simply providing relief. Essentially setting off a firestorm on Twitter which created an on-slew of profanity towards Microsoft’s search engine. The twitverse went crazy using all kinds of harsh words, specially the four letter word.

It all took off when Comedian Michael Ian Black, who has more than a million followers, tweeted the following: “Hey bing, stop using a tragedy as a f—king marketing opportunity”. He also add the #f—kyoubing hashtag. His tweets were quickly retweeted and others instantly picked up on the hashtag which fueled the spark.

Amanda Collings tweeted “#f—kyoubing quit bragging, only #oprah can brag about crap she donates and everyone claps. For you, it’s #f—kyoubing.”

After seven hours of sending the controversial message, Bing ended up apologizing by tweeting the following.

We apologize the tweet was negatively perceived. Intent was to provide an easy way for people to help Japan. We have donated $100K.

Google on the other hand quickly setup a people finders app and generate lots of buzz with it. Goes to show that if your intentions are ill will, the campaign will likely backfire. Hopefully Bing has learned from this big mistake.

The 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan on Friday 03/11/2011 is the fifth largest ever earthquake.

Photo Courtesy of SimeonK
Photo Courtesy of tsukubajin