T-Mobile walked into a hornet's nest on Twitter after buying today's Promoted Trend—which costs around $200,000—and employing the hashtag #NeverSettleForVerizon. Many former T-Mobile customers tweeted in protest to the ad, some of whom claim to have moved from the telecom to rival Verizon.
UPDATE: The telecom appeared to pull the Promoted Trend ad—but not the entire #NeverSettleForVerizon campaign—late this afternoon. Promoted Trend ads typically launch in the early morning and run for a complete 24 hours.
When asked about the ad's disappearance, Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile dodged the question while emailing Adweek the following statement.
"We've never been shy about going after any competitors, and that's not going to stop," said Peter DeLuca, svp of brand and advertising at T-Mobile. "This campaign has been running for over a week now through social and traditional media—and that's not going to change. The point here is that NO customers, including Verizon customers—should ever have to settle for things like two-year contracts, costly overages fees, slower LTE network speeds and other carrier tricks."
Here are a handful of tweets that helped start the brouhaha.
— Sherri C (@Maxicat) May 14, 2015
— jonnyPAIN (@jonny_pain) May 14, 2015
— j barbush (@jbarbush) May 14, 2015
— Jim Gilbert (@gilbertdirect) May 14, 2015
— Bailey Jo Nelson (@baileybaileybee) May 14, 2015
Yikes, indeed. And to @gilbertdirect's point, T-Mobile isn't the first brand to buy the pricey promo and see things go quickly south—with McDonald's being the most-cited example of such an unfortunate occurrence.
Here's a larger sampling of what people had to say after clicking on the ad, which sits atop organic trending topics on the right-hand side of a user's homepage. Perhaps Twitter-happy John Legere, T-Mobile CEO, will begin answering each one. Wouldn't that be fun to watch?
— Martina (@MartinaPeaches) May 14, 2015
#NeverSettleForVerizon unless you like having reception and good cell service in rural areas, unlike T-mobile.
— Benedict (@Pure_Excellency) May 14, 2015
— Jessica Singleton (@seattle_jess) May 14, 2015
— Mary (@5mary81) May 14, 2015
— Allie Toomey (@atoomey15) May 14, 2015
Someone at T-Mobile is probably getting fired for the #NeverSettleForVerizon thing
— Jacob Esquire (@HmmHmmAlright) May 14, 2015
Yuck. This #NeverSettleForVerizon is pretty tasteless in my opinion. T-Mobile isn't even on Verizon's level.
— Jasmine Henry (@henryjperc) May 14, 2015
— Chai with Kai (@H2KaiO) May 14, 2015
— Maxwell Finn (@maxwellfinn) May 14, 2015
— Marji J. Sherman (@MarjiJSherman) May 14, 2015
Pretty awkward this hashtag backfired for you all considering most use Verizon and it has the most coverage. #NeverSettleForVerizon
— JBemerer (@JBemerer) May 14, 2015