Brands Punk'd By Social Media

[Posted by Jeremiah Owyang]

A list of companies that were blind-sided by the internet, they didn't understand the impacts of the power shift to the participants, or how fast information would spread, or were just plain ignorant. 

Criteria of "Punk'd" includes a situation where the story would have not been told if social media was not available, or if social media enhanced the situation.

This doesn't include fake blogs, companies who deliberately tried to cheat the system get their own honorable mention.






  • Why we Dwell on Dell Hell
    Jeff Jarvis launches blog post that sends a flurry of PR negativty at Dell's poor service, it's since been improved.


  • Kryptonite unlocked
    Locks were disabled using a simple bic pen cap, spread on forums and blogs, one of the earliest examples that got mainstream attention.



Also see: 8 Groundswell Examples: News, Education, Religion, Cops, Restaurants, Music, Conferences, and Analysts

This is a cross post from the Web Strategy blog. Thanks to Jackie Huba for correcting that Apple's dirty little secret was actually form 2001, very early on.


re: Brands Punk'd By Social Media

Jeremiah,Great list!FYI - The Apple Dirty Secret video is from 2003, not 2007.

re: Brands Punk'd By Social Media

Thanks Jackie, I checked out the dates, you're right, I've corrected it and credited you!

re: Brands Punk'd By Social Media

Really interesting examples of companies missing Web buzz. One can think of that buzz as a "gossip cloud" that surrounds each and every company - large and small, public and private, global and local. The challenge, of course,is how to capture and quantify what's in that cloud. Most reputation measurement ecompanies try and scan websites and blogs directly and then report the results back to their corporate clients. A new startup - Vanno - is taking a very different approach with the first true social evaluation of company reputations. Check it out:

re: Brands Punk'd By Social Media

Here's another one:Royal Caribbean: - TO'B

re: Brands Punk'd By Social Media

Hi JeremiahNice list; how could you have missed Edelman's fake blog for Wal-mart; what a PR disaster!!Also check this link out feel free to add to your blogroll.Best, Gerry

re: Brands Punk'd By Social Media

Do you have any idea where I could find research on the monetary impacts of "oopses" like these? Of course it would be largely speculative, but I'd love to see some numbers on how this sort of buzz effects sales, brand image, etc.

re: Brands Punk'd By Social Media

Anonymous is very disturbing. best left under a rock somewhere