So why did the Victorian Taxi Association imagine it would be smart to start a Twitter hashtag #YourTaxis to get the public sharing positive experiences about taxis? Instead they were overwhelmed by angry stories about smelly cabs and incompetent drivers, plus many more serious allegations.
How was that a surprise? Had they never heard of McDonald’s disastrous hashtag #McDstories inviting people to share heart-warming experiences about eating fast food? Predictably it was hijacked by negative responses and the whole thing was shut down within two hours.
But, unlike McDonald’s, the Taxi Association seemed determined to press on in the face of the blindingly obvious. CEO David Samuel denied it was an epic fail and said the response online wasn’t anything they hadn't expected. "This is about starting a direct conversation with everyone who uses Victorian taxis and giving them an opportunity to tell us what they think. This is what we have achieved.”
No, Mr Samuel, it’s not a “conversation” when customers are hurling abuse at you. Why not admit a mistake and move on, like when you fired your social media agency, with the wonderful understatement that “the campaign concept and its delivery did not match the Association’s intention.”