By Amanda Arnold:
Tide continues to be the leading laundry detergent company in the United States; even after the negative publicity behind a social media stunt using their products.
Teens started consuming Tide laundry pods as an entertainment stunt for social media. Many of the participates filmed themselves consuming these bright-colored detergent capsules for publication on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. This challenge, commonly known as the “Tide Pod Challenge,” has raised great concern from consumers, parents and Tide themselves.
Earlier this year, CBC News spoke about this challenge calling it a “dangerous trend.”
Prior to this challenge, Tide had problems with younger children eating their laundry pods. Now they have to worry about teenagers consuming these products too. With increasing numbers of teen participants, Tide released a video featuring spokesperson Rob Gronkowski, to address this issue.
In addition to releasing a public service announcement, Tide updated their website https://tide.com/en-us/safety,emphasizing safety tips and the potential dangers of their products. Lucky for Tide, they also received help from YouTube who intervened after hearing about these challenges. They banned all Tide Pod Challenge videos from their website saying it violated “community guidelines.”
On January 18, 2018 a YouTube spokesperson told The Daily Meal, “YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm.”
Zachary Daniels, Business Studies Professor at Assumption College says “It seems like there is a legitimate issue with how social media has adversely affected the psyche of individuals who will literally do anything to have people give them a “like.”
Daniels concerns seem to center around how many individuals, especially teens, are doing anything for recognition on social media platforms. Daniels says Tide has done an appropriate job of addressing this issue and emphasizing the potential hazards of their products.
“As far as Tide, I think they have done a good job of educating their public about the situation at hand, and as a business actually get more exposure to potential customers who did not know what tide pods were.” -Daniels
It appears the challenge may be indirectly helping increase Tide’s brand exposure and perhaps even sales of the detergent. Consumers who had never heard of Tide may now be using their products. Sometimes “bad” publicity isn’t always bad. Here’s what some consumers are saying:
DiMerc and Quesseth Farms joke about Tide’s products and how they’re more accessible for purchase and/or consumption. Many tweets using the hashtag #TidePodChallenge share similar messages. Although this may be viewed as negative publicity, consumers are more aware of Tide’s products and company altogether.
The amount of Tide Pod Challenge videos has decreased within the past month. However, these challenges are still on going.
For more information please call The American Association of Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 or text “poison” to 797979.