Crisis Management in 140 Characters – Home Depot Edition

Another advertising agency has committed billable hour suicide from a gainful client. @HomeDepot apologized about a tweet that some say was racist. The tweet featured a photo of two Black Men and a man in a gorilla costume playing the drums and read, “Which drummer is not like the others?”

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Home Depot promptly removed the racist tweet; apologized, and the company is now on an (apology binge) for any offense that it rendered. Apologize…COPY… PASTE… Apologize… COPY… PASTE…lol

MY ASSESSMENT:

Home Depot is owning the mistake; apologizing was a good tactic.… calling it stupid, dumb — and it was stupid and dumb; however, it wasn’t empathetic to the community it may have offended (African-Americans).

RELATED ARTICLE: Home Depot Deletes Tweet, It Calls ‘Stupid and Offensive’

POSSIBLE VERBIAGE INTEGRATED INTO ITS STATEMENT:

We regret and deeply apologize to those parties that this may have offended… yadda yadda That is not representative of the inclusive culture we represent and practice at Home Depot… yadda yadda.

SOCIAL MEDIA TID-BIT:

When I worked for a high-profile client implementing its social media strategies — I had to send my social media (twitter) content posts to corporate to be pre-approved by a team and throughout the month I would engage using the RED, YELLOW, GREEN strategy.  RED and questionable posts required approval.

Do you think Home Depot handled this crisis effectively?

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2 thoughts on “Crisis Management in 140 Characters – Home Depot Edition

  1. As the saying goes, “When you know better, you do better.” Problem is, the agency that was hired probably had no clue that it would be offensive to black people. But is that their fault? Yes and no. We assume they should have known better. But in reality they didn’t because no person with knowledge of black history or culture advised them. And they didn’t think to ask for it either.

    You can’t expect Home Depot to say, “We hired an agency that lacked any black people or that we don’t have any black people in our marketing executive suites that would’ve informed us just how bad this is.” They apologized as best they could and are now trying to move on.

    Hopefully, in moving on they’ll know to hire or consult with an agency that has demonstrated more cultural sensitivity and expertise. Only time will tell.

    • Hey Alice, thank you for the comment. It is definitely a learning experience for both Home Depot and the agency.I blame the outside agency, Home Depot gave this agency the autonomy of its brand, to your point; I fault the agency for its lack of historical perspective of the offensive tweet.

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