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DiGiorno Delivers Twitter Blunder
By: Jennifer Graber
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DiGiorno, much like Taco Bell, has a way with words on Twitter. The pizza company utilizes humor and jokes in its digital interactions. For instance, it wouldn’t be unusual to see hashtags like #CheesyCelebrities or #DiGiorNOYOUDIDNT on its account. DiGiorno’s Twitter is not boring or typical in any sense of the word. And it is those kinds of social media accounts that get the most attention. In a crowded digital landscape, consumers are looking for what stands out, for what is atypical. However, DiGiorno’s Twitter recently stood out, and not in a positive way.
DiGiorno had a response for the hashtag #WhyIStayed — “you had pizza.” Without knowing the context of #WhyIStayed one might be perplexed as to why having pizza is a bad thing. However, the hashtag was actually meant to be a “message board of solidarity” following the release of video footage showing a domestic violence incident with Janay and Ray Rice. Ray Rice was caught on video shoving, dragging, and punching Janay Rice — who at the time was his girlfriend. Twitter users used the hashtag to show support for Janay Rice and to offer up their own accounts of domestic violence and abuse.
Domestic violence and abuse is no laughing matter. There is never an acceptable time to make a joke regarding those subjects. So the question is, why did DiGiorno? What on earth would possess a company to get involved, and not for support or charity, in that hashtag? DiGiorno quickly took to Twitter to offer its apologies and a strange explanation. The pizza giant explained that it did not read what the hashtag was about before posting on Twitter.

You did not read what it was about before posting? Seriously? What? The company gets credit for being honest because not enough companies can be. However, it is a startling thought that a major company is not reading what it gets involved in on social media. That seems to be a haphazard business practice. And furthermore, #WhyIStayed has a connotation that does not denote joking involvement in any manner. Does that just seem like a common sense issue? Or is it only like that because it is after the fact in this digital snafu?
DiGiorno did go on to further apologize and express its sorrow for causing disappointment and hurt. But is it enough? I would speculate that the company will have to do more than just apologize. Perhaps DiGiorno should get involved with domestic violence charities, in some way, to show that it has truly learned its lesson. It could donate food to shelters. Employees could volunteer to raise funds. The possibilities for involvement are endless. Just remember, always read before you tweet.

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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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