Roseanne Barr went on one too many racist Twitter rants, before trying to save face by blaming it on sleep aid Ambien. But the Sanofi, the company that makes the drug was having none of it. Their answer on Twitter is an excellent example of an authentic brand response.
Roseanne Barr is a controversial character, to say the least. But this time, she went too far, when she started a racist Twitter rant directed at Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to former President Obama.
ABC immediately pulled her show from the air, and she later deleted her tweets. But she was not done; she tried to save face by blaming her bigotry on her sleeping aid. Of course, sleeping pills can have some side effects, but racism surely isn’t one of them.
Sanofi’s answer on Twitter is an excellent example of an authentic brand response:
People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.
— Sanofi US (@SanofiUS) May 30, 2018
Too often, brands are victims of bad PR on social media because they fail to take a bold stance. In this case, Sanofi did everything right. Their response was swift, comprehensible, and undoubtedly authentic. The tweet was enough for the brand not to only distance itself from Barr’s racism but also to get attention from the media, and love from the world.
As Harlan Loeb, global chair of crisis and risk mitigation practice at PR firm Edelman, explained: “It can’t be corporate tropes, it has to be an authentic statement that humanizes the face of leadership.”