Of Flipkart Vs. Homeshop18 Tweet Controversy and A Question: Do brands own their employee’s tweet?

A few days back, one of the Pluggd.in (guest) author shared his candid perspective on a brand X. This guest author was working with a company (call it Y) and incidentally, his employer (i.e. Y) was about to sign a deal with the brand X.

Brand X didn’t like the candid perspective (even though it was 100% correct and was in no way an offence to the company or its offering) and their PR agency called me couple of times to ‘edit’ the post. Of course, we refused to edit the article (unless the company proves that the facts are wrong) and then the brand X took a step that, in my opinion was highly unprofessional.

They called up the CEO of company Y and threatened to call off the deal citing the author’s article on Pluggd.in!

Was that fair?

Homeshop18 Vs. Flipkart : The Tweet Fight?

Feb 15th, a similar incident happened with a Flipkart employee who bought a product from Homeshop18, but faced some issues with respect to communication regd delivery. He tweeted about the same and went a bit overboard in using the f*** word.

Though the ‘Take back this f**king stuff and refund’ tweet has been deleted (the entire conversation is shared towards the end of the post),but you can checkout the entire discussion on Pluggd.in forum.

Homeshop18 immediately brought the tweet to Flipkart’s notice which then apologized and even asked the employee to apologize, which he eventually did.

The Tweet Fight
The Tweet Fight

But the question here is : whether brands should bring the employer in such cases? It was definitely sweet for Flipkart to apologize (and not let the matter take a PR shape), but what about Homeshop18? Is that how you treat a frustrated customer?

World Peace All Around!
World Peace All Around!

Is that a matured behavior? I don’t know what’s the alternate word (but ‘arm twisting’)   to describe this. Was “Brand X” right in threatening the CEO of Company Y for an article that brought a candid perspective on the company?

Do clients own vendor’s employee tweets? Should companies bring customer’s employer when things go out of hand? Shouldn’t they be instead bragging (internally) that ‘Flipkart employees buy from Homeshop18!‘?

Such incidents also remind me of a famous IIPM case when IIPM went to IBM and threatened to burn their laptops, as one of the IBM employee, Gaurav Sabnis wrote an article about IIPM on his blog.

What’s your take on such actions? Who loses respect?

Hat tip: @rohangogoi. Forum Discussion link.


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