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Australian company sees backlash after capitalising on bush fires for Facebook likes


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

January 14, 2013 | 1 min read

Australian online shopping site saw a backlash on Friday, when it offered to provide generators for those affected by the bush fires in Tasmania…but only if people liked the brand’s Facebook page.

The message, posted on Facebook, read: “Sellitonline will donate generators to the poor people of Tasmania to help out What we need you to do is get everyone of your friends to join sellitonline Facebook page and the more people we get will determine how many generators we donate. [sic]”

The post has now been deleted after several people told the brand what they thought of this idea, with poster Alex Wilson-Fletcher suggesting that sellitonline’s next marketing move might be to donate $1000 to each grieving family for every child that survives a school shooting in the US.

Sellitonline has apologised, saying: "Very sorry if anyone was offended by this, the post was removed asap as sellitonline didn't want to upset anyone. All sellitonline wanted to do is help the people in Tasmania."

One generator has been donated to Tasmanian man Allan Archer, the company added.

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