Femfresh pulls Facebook page after social media vagina backlash
That didn’t take long. Less than a week after Femfresh’s Facebook page came under attack for its use of euphemistic, or infantile words, that women supposedly use instead of the word vagina it has pulled its page from the social network.
Femfresh, owned by Church & Dwight, had received hundreds of comments on Facebook by the time it took the decision to pull the page over the weekend bringing to an end a one year stint on the social network.
Femfresh’s PR firm Lexis confirmed the decision to close Femfresh’s Facebook presence and issued the following statement on behalf of the brand:
“We have always been keen to have a conversation with our customers, however it appears this is currently going to be difficult due to the efforts of a few with misguided intent. We have made the decision to suspend our social media channels for the moment but will continue to monitor and analyse all feedback and ensure that we take all necessary learnings from this activity.”
Was it the right decision to pull its presence? I’m not sure it was. It makes returning to Facebook something of a issue.
That said the team behind the Facebook page, Media Therapy, clearly could see no immediate way out of the social media hole it was in and no way to effectively respond to the withering barrage of comments it was receiving mocking the Femfresh brand.
Clearly it weighed the pros and cons and decided the negative publicity simply was not worth the effort and that Facebook, at least for the present, was not for it.
However, while it had received hundreds of comments it had prior to this story blowing up racked up 5,300 Facebook likes. Clearly something was working the brand does have its fans. It now needs to find a way to connect with them.
Prior to this campaign it had been quietly existing on Facebook for a year. What was working during that year that dramatically stopped working last week?
At the same time it has learnt a valuable lesson. Many people do not like the variation of childish sounding words it was using in place of the word vagina or vulva such as “Mini,twinkle, hoo haa, fancy, yoni, lady garden…”.
You can see why. It is childish and grown women don’t talk like that. I’m only surprised this did not come up in research prior to this campaign launching.
I’m sure that the thinking behind this campaign was that it was meant to be fun and a way of coming up with words or phrases that the brand could use in place of the clinical sounding word vagina. While the campaign might have worked well in press and on radio it simply didn’t translate to social media where the audience could bite back.
It went too far. Got too silly. Hoo haa? Froo froo?
Some have commented that this is a case in point that not all brands are right for social media or Facebook in particular. I disagree. I’m sure that Femfresh has a place on Facebook, but it needs to iron out branding issues that this whole story has highlighted.
Other brands have hiccuped before in social and bounced back. I’m sure Femfresh can do the same.
N.B. we lost this article and in restoring it couldn’t retrieve the comments although here’s a cached image of them.