Friday, February 29, 2008

When pretty people get ugly: How to fight bad press

These days you can fight back when someone makes an unfair claim about your company.

Do you remember what used to happen in the bad old days when someone wrote something bad or untrue about your company on page one of a newspaper? You'd be lucky to get a tiny box with an apology five weeks later on an inside page.

Here's a great example of how times have changed.

SouthWest Airlines has a reputation for smart marketing and friendly service.

Here's another example showing how it has built this reputation.

Faced with accusations that it banned two women from flying because they were "too pretty," it loaded this video refuting the claims.

In a bit more than a day, nearly 120,000 have watched it. It's also got a lot of positive responses on sites like In fact, nearly as many people have given the thumbs up to its response as they did to the original critical article.

Why does the response work? It's short, to the point and the company doesn't take itself too seriously. The spokesperson below ends this way:

"We welcome pretty people on board our flights, we just ask that you leave your bad behavior at home."

A nice touch.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report blog editor Julie Power Friday February 29 at 1.30 p.m.


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