On Thursday, Arby’s, the fast food chain, announced on Twitter that it would no longer advertise with Rush Limbaugh. Nothing too earth-shattering, given the number of companies that have already pulled advertising from Limbaugh. But predictably, the chain’s announcement was met with some criticism. So, what did Arby’s do? Went on a spree, blocking users who disagreed with the decision.
Arby’s first announced the move on Twitter:
@StopRush We’re aware of this issue and have taken the necessary steps to discontinue advertising during this show as soon as possible.
— Arby’s (@Arbys) April 4, 2012
Then, responding to negative feedback, the company’s idea of a good strategy, as Twitchy reported, was to go on a blocking spree. Among those blocked were:
So, @Arbys, now you’re blocking people asking you why you caved to extortion tactics? Can you say “doubling down on failure?”
— RB (@RBPundit) April 5, 2012
— Teri Christoph (@TeriChristoph) April 6, 2012
— Jerry (@rightinillinois) April 6, 2012
— YankInGeorgia (@YankInGeorgia) April 6, 2012
— Bob Owens (@bob_owens) April 6, 2012
That last tweet raises a good point. Pulling advertising is one thing, but the Twitter rampage is just bad social media strategy. Especially for a large fast food chain. This is still a business decision, and the follow-up response is neither smart nor does it really serve a purpose. As John Hudson points out over at The Atlantic, “Maybe you think you’re serving a lot liberals with your delicious Jamocha shakes but you’re first and foremost a fast food chain, and if you knew anything about fast food customers, you’d be careful not to anger conservative America.” Smooth move, Arby’s.
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