BrandArena: How Snapchat Lost $800m Over Offensive Rihanna Ad

Monday 19 March 2018

How Snapchat Lost $800m Over Offensive Rihanna Ad

Following a recent offensive ad post on Snapchat, Rihanna took to her Instagram story to call out the company for making light of domestic violence.

The users began noticing a “Would You Rather?” game that asked users whether they’d rather “slap Rihanna” or “punch Chris Brown.” Though a third-party ad, the content was approved by Snapchat to appear on its interface. And, considering Chris Brown pled guilty to viciously assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, it pushes the boundaries of what’s considered poor taste. The ad has since been removed.

“You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it,” Rihanna wrote in her Instagram story. She continued, “This isn’t about my personal feelings, cause I don’t have much of them…but all the women, children, and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet…You let us down!”

Although Snapchat later apologised after facing backlash but the impact on the business was huge.

While responding to the as, the company said, “The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines. We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we become aware. We are sorry that this happened.”

In addition to the apology, the company announced that they have reached out to the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) in order to educate the Snapchat staff on domestic abuse, and what would be appropriate or not to use for content.

It's time for brand owners to learn from comparative posts and sensitive ad on ethnic, gender or religion. 

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