UPDATE 2: The truth (or as close as the Internet gets to the truth) is finally revealed. This whole fracas was a prank by comedian Randy Liedtke and (we're guessing) podcasting partner Brendon Walsh, whom you can see in a screenshot below retweeting @Pace_Foods posts all the way back in August. The man at the center of this weekend's hilarity, comedian Kyle Kinane, says he wasn't in on it, but we'll let you be the judge of that.
Welp, I done been had. Master prankster @randyliedtke got me. Got questions? Ask him. Sorry. I wanted it to be real too.
— Kyle Kinane (@kylekinane) December 2, 2013
UPDATE 1: Pace Foods owner Campbell Soup Co. has said on Twitter today that the Pace account was "not authorized," though it's unclear what that means, since the account seems to have been actively marketing the brand for a long while. However, there is the possibility that the messages supposedly received by Kyle Kinane in the exchange below could have been faked by him for laughs. See more updates at the bottom of this item.
Original item here:
There are Twitter brand disasters, and then there are all-out Twitter brand implosions with a gravitational force so great, they seem to suck in all light and matter in the universe. This weekend, Pace salsa had the latter.
(Warning: NSFW language is nigh.)
Comedian Kyle Kinane noticed that Pace's Twitter account had favorited an old tweet of his actually mocking the product, so he decided to test whether the brand was using a bot to follow any mention, positive or negative. It was. So, he began making all sorts of obscenity-filled and insulting posts about the salsa, which just kept favoriting each one.
Eventually the brand seemed to turn off the bot and apologized for "technical problems with our Twitter account."
Kinane, however, continued to prod at Pace, mocking their requests for a ceasefire and posting screenshots of the brand's increasingly desperate direct messages to him. One rep warns him (unironically) that "blackmail for salsa is still blackmail," and just when an armistice seemed to be at hand, a Pace rep told Kinane that his comments were "bull crap." That employee was "sent home early," another explained.
Eventually the brand opted for the nuclear option and simply closed down its Twitter page.
For the full blow-by-blow, be sure to check out Huffington Post's comprehensive recap of the whole sordid affair.
UPDATE: Here's the rather cryptic tweet from Campbell Soup Co., parent company of Pace Foods, implying the salsa account was a fake:
However, posts from the @Pace_Foods account go back months at least, and it seems to have been pretty active. The screenshot below from August also seems to imply it was run by a firm also posting social updates for Band-Aid (on an account that's also been suspended):
So Campbell's definition of an unauthorized account might simply mean that it was run by an outside agency (with an emphasis on "was"). Of course, the account being real doesn't automatically mean that the messages to Kinane were real.