January 14, 2020

By Gonzalo López Martí - Creative director, etc    /


  • The social media lynching squads are coming for you.
  • Sooner or later, you or the brand/s you’re in charge of will do or say something that will trigger their wrath.
  • It is not if but when.
  • The slightest of faux pas taken out of context can become a major troll storm these days.
  • All of a sudden, you will find a mob of emoji pitchforks and torches at your digital doorstep demanding your head in a basket.
  • Will you issue a carefully worded and usually useless public apology?
  • Will you scramble to de-escalate?
  • Will you pout&deflect Bill Clinton-style?
  • Or will you double down à la Donald Trump?
  • If we were in 2005, your PR team would recommend to apologize and defuse.
  • Fifteen years later, the playbook might have changed.
  • See, social media turns people into teenagers.
  • It’ss done it to the best minds of our generation.
  • Impulsiveness, short attention span, an inability to take a step back and make rational decisions.
  • Never negotiate with teenagers (or terrorists).
  • They consider every concession a sign of weakness.
  • It fuels their fanaticism.
  • I am not saying you should fight back.
  • It is impossible to argue with armies of trolls with too much time on their hands.
  • My suggestion: the best excuse is no excuse.
  • Dig your heels.
  • I know, I know: you are not Larry Flynt.
  • It takes a very particular personality to undertake a public battle of this sort, especially in 2020.
  • The average CEO or CMO is simply not cut for this type of dirty feuds.
  • Only politicians and some showbiz types can play this nasty game.
  • Unfortunately, we will have to learn the rules too.
  • We as in marketing & advertising professionals.
  • We are reaching a point in which every idiot with a mobile device is trying to blackmail us.
  • At the risk of sounding as exaggerated as the trolling culture we’re navigating, if we don’t fight back it will eventually threaten our very freedom of speech.

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