Bic, Please — Insensitive Women’s Day Ad Leaves Pen Manufacturer’s PR Campaign Stationery

A recent promotion posted on social media left Bic humiliated and demonstrated the importance of effective Issue Management.

For many businesses, social media can be a powerful marketing tool where a well-designed promotion can go viral almost instantly.

When misjudged, a campaign can provoke an unrelenting backlash like the one experienced by Bic over their National Women’s Day promotion that instructed women to “think like a man.” The internet responded swiftly, with several parodies of the advert appearing within minutes.

Bic penned a defensive apology, explaining that the ad was intended to be “empowering.” Unfortunately, this statement was ridiculed as much as the original advert, leaving the company digging themselves deeper into a PR hole.

Finally identifying their mistake, the apology was deleted and replaced with a more appropriate statement, but not before competitors Stabilo highlighted Bic’s mistake by rebranding the promotion with the tagline “work like a BOSS.”

Recurring Issues

This follows a similar PR disaster in 2012 when the company released pink Bic “for her” pens, suggesting the company may have a recurring problem with their marketing procedures — a fact the manufacturer’s critics were quick to point out.

Errors like this can be damaging for customer relations. Having proper control of issues within marketing would have minimized the likelihood of this happening.

EQMS Issue Manager ensures critical issues are dealt with in a closed-loop process that eliminates recurring problems.

Trend analysis makes it possible to identify the root cause of a problem, and workflow functionality allows your organisation to identify and implement the required corrective action and plan for continual improvement.

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