Chrysler throws down an F-bomb on Twitter

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Whoever was manning Chrysler’s official Twitter account on Wednesday morning apparently sucked down too much #TigerBlood before work. “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to fucking drive,” the brand tweeted, much to the surprise of its nearly 8,000 followers. Turns out an employee from New Media Strategies sent out the R-rated tweet (having apparently just suffered through a difficult morning commute), and was promptly fired. Chrysler later apologized, saying: “Chrysler Group and its brands do not tolerate inappropriate language or behavior, and apologize to anyone who may have been offended by this communication.” The profanity is one thing—but just as weird is how ludicrously at odds this tweet was with Chrysler’s current brand messaging of celebrating Detroit, as seen in its Super Bowl spot with Eminem (who might have approved of the rogue message, actually). What do you think of this? Can any brand use profanity on Twitter—and if so, which brands and when? Via Jalopnik.
  UPDATE: Chrysler said Thursday that it has fired New Media Strategies (i.e., will not renew its contract when it’s up), presumably because of this incident. Also, Chrysler has clarified on its blog that it did not request that the culpable NMS employee be fired—that was NMS’s decision. But the automaker also makes it clear that the offending tweet was unacceptable. “Why were we so sensitive?” reads the post. “That commercial featuring the Chrysler 200, Eminem and the City of Detroit wasn’t just an act of salesmanship. This company is committed to promoting Detroit and its hard-working people. The reaction to that commercial, the catchphrase ‘imported from Detroit,’ and the overall positive messages it sent has been volcanic. … With so much goodwill built up over a very short time, we can’t afford to backslide now and jeopardize this progress.”
  UPDATE 2: Pete Snyder, CEO of New Media Strategies, offers this statement: “New Media Strategies regrets this unfortunate incident. It certainly doesn’t accurately reflect the overall high-quality work we have produced for Chrysler. We respect their decision and will work with them to ensure an effective transition of this business going forward.”

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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.