If you are among the numerous social media users who are wondering why Grab Philippines issued that public apology (July 23, 2019, around 5:30 p.m.), you are not alone. What could have gone wrong and what did the ride-hailing app ever do to entice a potential public backlash?
It turned out, Grab PH was trying to use wit to take the marketing opportunity over a currently hot topic across the local social media landscape these days. In the following post, Grab PH was obviously trying to market its service by embarking on the controversy behind celebrity Gerald Anderson’s alleged falling out with long-time girlfriend and fellow celebrity Bea Alonzo over a supposed/rumored fling with younger star Julia Barretto.
Anderson is the man of the hour. Various memes now flood the social media, creating witty analyses of the actor’s past involvement with a number of female celebrities—among those Kim Chiu, Sarah Geronimo, Maja Salvador, and Pia Wurtzbach. (As of press time, the offensive post has already been removed from Grab PH’s social media pages.)
May this serve as a reminder to all social media marketing practitioners out there to be more careful when going along trending topics.