Bing Apologizes For Japan Quake Tweet

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Bing has just apologized on Twitter for a tweet earlier today that many viewed as a way to gain exposure in the name of raising money for victim’s of Friday’s earthquake in Japan.

The apology reads as follows:

We apologize the tweet was negatively perceived. Intent was to provide an easy way for people to help Japan. We have donated $100K.

The apology comes about seven hours after the controversial tweet in which Bing promised to donate $1 to quake relief for every retweet, up to a maximum $100,000 donation.

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Here’s the text of that tweet:

How you can #SupportJapan – http://binged.it/fEh7iT. For every retweet, @bing will give $1 to Japan quake victims, up to $100K.

Twitter users reacted loudly and swiftly to Bing’s original tweet, using all kinds of four-letter words that aren’t suitable for re-printing here and accusing Bing of turning the tragedy in Japan into a marketing opportunity.

It’s not unlike the Kenneth Cole Twitter mistake in early February, in which the retailer tweeted a link to its spring collection and tied it to the “uproar” that was happening in Eqypt. Kenneth Cole eventually deleted the offending tweet from its stream. To Bing’s credit perhaps, it hasn’t (yet) deleted its tweet today.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Microsoft: Bing

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://www.creativeguise.com Doug McArthur

    I personally don’t see anything wrong with the message they sent out. It’s not in a jokey tone like the Kenneth Cole tweet and doesn’t appear to link anyone to anything that doesn’t have to do with Japan. It’s not surprising, but the hypersensitivity of people online and the emotional nature of the situation has blown this out of proportion.

  • http://gemsong gemsong

    I don’t think it’s as bad as the reaction it got, people will find something negative about anything.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/KarenBice Karen Bice

    I don’t see anything wrong with the tweet, either in content or tone. It’s worded like all tweets that ask people to donate money for a cause. It also seems that Bing went out of its way to prevent continuing negative reaction.

  • http://www.eqtv.dj Calum Barr

    Much ado about nothing…

  • http://searchengineland.com Jonathan Hochman

    This is a “non-apology apology”, which is less optimal than just saying nothing. Microsofties have to learn that there are those who will criticize MS no matter what action they take. Just ignore them.

  • http://www.concept-i.dk/ Thomas Rosenstand

    What’s the problem with that tweet? Money is raised to support the poor people hit by this catastrophe. And people start bitching about a tweet like this instead of getting to their pockets and help out. Man!

  • SV

    I also dont see anything wrong in the tweet. Not sure why there is an outcry. Retweeting is a perfectly fair way to involve people to help the cause.

  • http://www.smallerbox.net Smaller Box

    I also see no issue with the Tweet. Companies use their position to raise funds and awareness for good causes all the time. What’s to complain about? The company should get nothing for its charitable work? They are a business, they do need to make money. All they’re asking for is a little brand awareness in exchange for a really generous charitable donation. I say good on MS for trying and I wish people would stop being so incredibly cynical and negative.

    I am not a huge MS devotee, but any time I see a company doing something charitable and people spit in their faces for it, it pisses me off. Would they rather MS do nothing? Should MS just give anonymously, because hey F their bottom line? Do these people who are bitching take the tax write off when they donate to charities? When I see a company supporting a good cause I always think “good on them and good marketing too!” It’s much nicer than just seeing ads that say “buy stuff” because they are still getting to market and a good cause is benefiting.

  • http://www.juretic.com rhymeface

    It think they got the wording totally wrong. Should have read something like,

    “Keep people in the loop and #SupportJapan – http://binged.it/fEh7iT. For every RT, @bing will give $1 to Japan quake victims, up to $100K”

    Small difference but it looks less like self-promotion and more like they’re offering people a way to help in both terms of info and money.

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