Durex Pepsi Quantas

Five social media competitions that ended badly: EE, Durex, Pepsi and more


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

June 14, 2013 | 3 min read

This week, EE faced a social media backlash after an error in competition guidelines meant that people received TicketMaster vouchers instead of weekend passed to Glastonbury. We take a look at some other social media competitions which didn’t go to plan.


Now sorted, EE scrambled to find tickets after people urged the company to #GiveTerryHisGlastoTickets .At one point O2 stepped in and offered Finnegan tickets to O2 Priority events for free.


The Durex SOS Condoms iOS app, promises to deliver protection whenever it is needed. In a competition earlier this year to see where the service would be unveiled next, did the public choose London? What about New York?Nope, the winning city was Batman, Turkey. The 'Holy [insert word of your choice] Batman' moment comes when you realise that this area of Turkey has a large conservative Muslim population, and condoms are not welcome there.


Flying back to 2011 (see what we did there?) Quantas clearly thought it was onto a winner by asking 'What is your dream luxury inflight experience?”However, this took place when the airline was in dispute with its workers, and disruptions were taking place, so it didn't go down too well with customers replying with messages such as "#QantasLuxury is sitting in your first-class lounge chair, watching a failed social media campaign get out of control.”


In 2010, Pepsi unveiled a contest asking fans to create a cheer for Hockey Canada and the 2010 IIHF Mens’s Hockey Championship in Germany. The winner: “Eh! Oh-Canada! Go!”Did the public like it? Eh! Oh - No!The 'The” Eh! Oh! Canada Go!” chant is a national embarrassment' page on Facebook gained over 64,000 fans.


Molson ran a Facebook campaign, called the Molson Canadian Nation Campus Challenge, which included a photo contest targeting 19-24 year old college students. So far, so good, right?The competition asked students to prove they went to the 'No 1 party school' in Canada by "Show[ing] everyone how you and your crew get the party started!" Parents complained that the competition encourages both underage drinking and binge drinking, and it ended up closing a week early.
Durex Pepsi Quantas

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