©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
The global giant explains how its social media team deals with controversies that could turn expensive if ignored.
Several years ago, Intel ran an ad that illustrated the speed of its microprocessors with a picture of a bosslike figure standing with crossed arms over a bunch of half-naked sprinters bent double in a racing stance.
Tiny problem. The guy in charge was white; the sprinters were all black. And, well, it kind of looked like they were all bowing to the white man.
The ad quickly drew fire on the Internet. African-American bloggers denounced it, and Gawker mused, “Intel Ad: Stupid? Or Stupid And Racist?”
“There was discussion of picketing our headquarters in Santa Clara,” Intel’s Rick Reed said at Ragan’s Social Media for PR & Corporate Communicators conference in Las Vegas. “Tremendous potential for this to go sideways really quickly.”