Clorox tweets an emoji joke about bleach, stains own reputation

In yet another twitter-incident that is sure to make clients even more wary of ever allowing anything to be said on social media without a few hundred focus groups & meetings watering down any semblance of an idea, Clorox managed somehow to come off as weirdly racist with their recent emoji tweet. Their now deleted tweet read: "New emojis are alright but where's the bleach." and attached was the above emoji-picture where a bottle of Clorox is made up from lipstick stains, pigs, sheep, water drops, paw prints, fish and babies - and curiously the numbers 7 8 9. I see what you did there, Clorox, you tried to latch on to the news about the iOS 8.3 Emoji update, which brings iPhone users a whole new range of emojis like the Vulcan salute, and makes all the human emojis in several different colours, as well as adding same sex couple emojis.

Thus people interpreted Clorox tweet as a comment on the new racially diverse emojis, since that's the biggest news about the emoji update. The responses were swift and annoyed, if not downright angry with Clorox.

Clorox finally deleted the tweet, and tweeted this explanation of sorts; "Wish we could bleach away our last tweet. Didn't mean to offend - it was meant to be about all the emojis that could use a clean up."

The first response to that tweet is succinct as it is true : Too late buddy

The "realtime advertising" honeymoon is over. You can no longer jump in and "dunk in the dark", make sure all those i's are dotted and t's are crossed and everything is checked with legal before tweeting - it's far easier to make a mistake on twitter today than ever before.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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kidsleepy's picture


David Felton's picture

At Bacardi we had to have everything signed off by global, then national brand managers, plus anything of note had to be additionally looked at by their legal team too. There was no such thing as a spontaneous topical tweet that wasn't generally approved at least two weeks in advance. One might look at this process and consider it unnecessary or even outdated, but they really did know what they were doing.

And when social media managers don't know what they're doing we get case studies like this.

Dabitch's picture

David, yes, the comedy skit screenshot looks like rape, incident : As Belvedere Vodka just proved: everything a brand says in social media is an ad in the eyes of the consumer. The worst example of a twitter-mishap that I recall is the Aurora is trending tweet, where a company thought this was a good time to tell people about a dress they had in stock.

Kamille's picture

I don't understand.