#AskSeaWorld Reputation Campaign Fails Miserably

EVERYBODY saw this coming.

Can we all please lay the “social media hashtag Q&A for troubled clients” strategy to rest?!

Earlier this week we noted that SeaWorld was about to launch a multi-million dollar campaign to improve its reputation. Based on a quick scan of the results for its #AskSeaWorld hashtag, we have to say that the campaign to date has not been a great success.

John Hargrove, a former employee turned author who is now the exact opposite of a brand advocate, hit The Daily Show last night, and it was brutal:

Twitter users quickly offered their own opinions:

Non-fans started their own hasthags #EmptyTheTanks and #AnswerTheQ, and some got a little aggressive:

The company’s social media team kept going. They even got a little sassy, as in these responses to a mass-tweeting of questions they “refuse to answer”:

We could continue, but the responses are, frankly, exhausting.

After all this, we can’t figure out who, exactly, is tasked with managing the mess beyond what we assume to be the company’s internal social media team.

PUSH of Orlando does some digital work for SeaWorld, but they told us that they’re not responsible for social media. FCB Global is the company’s advertising agency of record, but they’re not involved with any of the materials released so far. When Blackfish first came out, the company hired New York firm 42 West to help handle the fallout — but no one there responded to our request about the current status of the account today.

Best theoretical question we’ve seen in the thread.

Safe to say someone needs a stiff drink or five right now.

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.