The Burger Backlash – Why Brand Positioning Is Important28/06/2013
When earlier this week, Chancellor George Osborne tweeted a picture of himself working late and enjoying a burger at his desk to his 53,000 followers, little did he know the media storm that would follow. Causing a mild media circus, with headlines flying in from across the globe, far from portraying himself as a ‘man of the people’ – which was no doubt the initial objective of the snap – the photo did anything but. Splashing front pages in global leading media outlets, the front page of The Sun newspaper ran the picture next to a caption that read ‘Shamburger’. In the accompanying article it heavily criticised George Osborne for snubbing 10 closer McDonalds outlets where burgers start at just 99p in favour of a gourmet burger. We’re not sure anyone realistically expected ‘Bullingdon George’ to eat anything but gourmet fast food, but it certainly wasn’t a clever PR move.
The Twitter backlash was almost immediate, with many users accusing him of staging the snap as a cheap ploy to show he’s ‘with it’, a cool guy enjoying a burger. The eagle-eyed however spotted the packaging as being from trendy chain Byron Burgers, double the price of most fast food outlets.
Certainly George Osborne’s faux pas is not the first. It’s also unlikely to be the the last time that a seemingly innocent snap posted on a social media forum causes such a furore for a brand. But in a time when the immediacy of Twitter has the power to convert said images into viral storms worldwide, perhaps George Osborne’s ‘Shamburger’ will act as a cautionary tale to anyone’s PR team thinking about posting choreographed photos. Get the props right.
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