A Little Responsibility Please.


I’m not sure if you heard about this or not, but Coca-Cola UK pulled a Facebook ad campaign due to some inappropriate messaging going out through participant’s Facebook status updates.

They were meant to be edgy and all updates were approved by Coke prior to the campaign launching. Well, unfortunately for Coke, a 14 year old decided to participate in the campaign and had a status update go out automatically that referenced a notorious pornographic movie. Ouch.

What struck me about this whole situation is that it seems like Coke is scapegoating the agency that put this campaign together for them, at least from the spin of the article.

Now, I will admit I don’t have all the facts, I’ve only read the one article on the situation.

But it got me thinking about the relationship between vendor/consultant and the organization. Where is the responsibility in this situation?

As clients, I feel we have a responsibility to have some basic knowledge in regards to the situation we hire a vendor/consultant for. If we don’t, then how are we going speak the same language, or know whether or not we’ve hired someone who knows their stuff?

That way we aren’t hiring them because “we don’t know how to do that,” but because the vendor/consultant is the best person(s) to perform or execute this initiative.

We as the folks who hire have a responsibility to do a little learning about the subjects we hire on for. If you don’t know the basics of email marketing, or of databases, pick up a book and invest a little time in learning more so that you can make the appropriate decisions.

This small investment of time will also allow for a better working relationship, allow the client to point out potential problems from their end (hence saving money in the long run more than likely) and maybe (just maybe) make sure that the client isn’t asking for something that’s impossible. (it happens)

Now I’m not a full fledged consultant, I do some small stuff on the side. Usually when I’m brought in, it’s to teach the basics about social media, which is that small time investment I mentioned above. But the point is is that these organizations are making that time investment and that is what it is important.

They are taking the responsibility of learning & growing to help their organization be the best it can be.

So what do you think? Am I off my rocker on this one?

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