The uneasy relationship between corporate good deeds and the positive PR that naturally comes from them is highlighted again this week, as Kellogg's U.K. deleted a tweet and then apologized for promising a free meal to a child for every retweet it got. Kellogg's has a whole "Give a Child a Breakfast" campaign going, which is surely at least partially heartfelt. But holding food for hungry kids hostage until consumers agree to help promote the cause is clearly a questionable strategy. Still, it's an easy trap to fall into if you're convinced everyone will fall in love with your charitable side, no questions asked.
“@KelloggsUK: 1RT = 1 breakfast for a vulnerable child” Anyone else find this kinda creepy? Like sayin "Help us advertise or kids go hungry"
— James Wong (@Botanygeek) November 9, 2013
@KelloggsUK sick bastards, if you have the capability to feed vulnerable children then do so. This is sickening.
— Perry (@AdamDanielPerry) November 10, 2013
We want to apologise for the recent tweet, wrong use of words. It's deleted. We give funding to school breakfast clubs in vulnerable areas.
— Kellogg's UK (@KelloggsUK) November 10, 2013