Put it on a Post-it: Respect Social Media

Posted on October 16, 2008

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Today I host a sometimes-guest blogger and my always-awesome friend, Sue.  She's the same friend behind being "alone and fat in the lip gloss aisle."  Today, Sue has something to say about 3M, social media and post-its… You can find more of what Sue has to say on Twitter @sueferranti.

Romy and Michelle may have lied about inventing the post-it to score points at their high school reunion, but it looks like the post-it company stretched the truth around a recent viral marketing campaign.  3M is running a promotion asking for user-generated content about creative uses of post-its, and for the advertisement they wanted to use a funny viral picture that had already made the rounds of blogs and mainstream media. But, instead of paying the photographer the licensing fee, 3M recreated a fake version!

In December 2006, co-workers covered a Jaguar with thousands of post-its; the result is artistic and funny and exactly the kind of brand engagement and promotion any consumer company wants. 3M later asked the photographer to use the pictures, when he refused to give them away for free, they just recreated the picture. Read the Consumerist article for more background, the emails between the photographer and 3M, and pictures.

It seems a little silly that when running a "user generated content" promotion, 3M would misuse content like this. Why engage in social marketing if you're going to break key principles ??? not being transparent and not respecting customers? If this continues, we may have to pull a Jack Burger and break up with post-it.  In the meantime, check out the work of artist Rebecca Murtaugh who covers entire rooms (walls, couches, etc) in post-its. Very cool!

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Via Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ableman/323251991/in/set-72157594421824427/.  (Thanks, and awesome work, Scott!)

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