Qantas does a self-goal PR drive | world | Hindustan Times
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Qantas does a self-goal PR drive

Australia’s Qantas Airlines has been left red-faced after an ill-timed public relations campaign and Twitter competition backfired, drawing thousands of angry responses.

world Updated: Nov 23, 2011 00:23 IST

Australia’s Qantas Airlines has been left red-faced after an ill-timed public relations campaign and Twitter competition backfired, drawing thousands of angry responses.

Qantas on Tuesday invited users of the micro-blogging site to enter a “Qantas Luxury” competition, asking people to describe their “dream luxury in-flight experience” and possibly win a pair of Qantas first-class pyjamas and a toiletries kit.

The timing of the PR exercise was questionable, coming just a day after Qantas and its unions broke off contract negotiations and after Qantas grounded its fleet in late October, a drastic move that stranded thousands of angry customers.

PR experts said the campaign was perhaps Australia’s greatest public relations failure and a classic example of the dangers of unpredictable social media.

“Epic PR fail, excellent case study in corporate cultural tone deafness. Simply don’t get it,” said social media commentator Peter Clarke. Twitter user “stanofid” called the campaign the “Hindenburg of social media strategies.”

Daniel Angus, using the Twitter name “antmandan,” said Qantas luxury meant “being stranded on the other side of the world without warning when you just want to get home to your 10-month-old daughter.”

But Qantas put on a brave face, taking to Twitter again to quip on Tuesday, “at this rate our #QantasLuxury competition is going to take years to judge.