#McFail: McDonald’s Loses Control Of Hashtag

McDonald's in airport

Marketers keep telling brand owners to use social media to engage their customers. But there are times companies must wish they had just bought a print ad instead.

McDonald’s is in the midst of stamping out a sardonic Twitter campaign in which critics are using its own hashtag to lambast the company.

The tag #McDStories first turned up on Wednesday when the company tweeted:

The link included a video to a happy farmer and was presumably intended to encourage others to tell their own fond tales of McDonalds.

The hashtag soon become a trending topic but probably not in the way McDonalds had hoped. Here, in the words of @JerseyGirlinPR is what happened next:

Since then, Twitter has been lighting up with a bonanza of crude, funny or devastating zings at McDonalds. And some of the accounts are decidedly not from the suburban types McDonald’s likes to attract:

Hoodrats is goin in on that #McDStories trend. “One time I only had $1.06 and didn’t know if I wanted a Sweet Tea or 2 apple Pies”.

#McDStories Paid for my food but almost left cause I was high and convinced that the workers called the cops and were using my food as bait

McDonald’s original tweet is still at the top of the list — presumably because the fast food giant is paying it to stay there. Everything below is a hashtag horror show.

At the same time, under its own @McDonald’s Twitter account, the company appears to stoking the fire with an ongoing back and forth with PETA. Sample tweet: .@peta That posting is absolutely FALSE McNuggets are NOT made from mechanically separated chicken. Only USDA inspected white meat.

McDonald’s marketing executives must be pining for the old days of buying only TV commercials, billboards and other media that don’t talk back.

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