The Drum Awards for Marketing - Entry Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

Twitter Public Relations Social Media

IAC PR executive Justine Sacco loses job after 'racist' Aids tweet prompts Twitter frenzy

By Angela Haggerty | Reporter

December 22, 2013 | 3 min read

A PR executive at media company IAC has been lost her job after tweeting a 'racist' joke about Aids on her Twitter page.Justine Sacco posted on Twitter: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”The post was made shortly before Sacco boarded her flight and by the time she landed in Africa, Twitter users were in uproar over the comment.A short time later her employer announced they had “parted ways”.“The offensive comment does not reflect the views and values of IAC,” a statement said. “We take this issue very seriously, and we have parted ways with the employee in question.“There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally. “We hope, however, that time and action, and the forgiving human spirit, will not result in the wholesale condemnation of an individual who we have otherwise known to be a decent person at core.”The tweet from Sacco went viral within hours despite her having less than 200 followers when it was sent. The account was later deleted.The Twitter frenzy prompted a #HasJustineLandedYet hashtag while the PR exec was still on her flight.

Uproar: The controversial tweet

And of course, it didn’t take long for the @LOLJustineSacco parody account to appear.
Twitter Public Relations Social Media

More from Twitter

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +