Editor's Comment: Calm reaction vital in a social-media storm

It takes a strong, experienced marketer to withstand the slings and arrows of social media.

What, for instance, is going through the minds of marketers at Mars? Is it dismay at how their Euro 2012 TV ad has polarised opinion on Twitter, with comments ranging from 'the most pitiful ad I've seen, ever' to 'the new Mars ad is brilliant'?

More likely, such a passionate reaction is being viewed as a sign of success. Better to be talked about than not.

The Mars ad is naff, but memorable for all that. These days the sad fact is a lot of advertising is simply ignored. Observe Adwatch (page 15), Marketing's established measure of ad recall, to see how recollection of ads is on the decline. Fifteen years ago, the most recalled ad would have gained more than 75% recognition; now it hovers around 50%.

A knee-jerk response to negative social-media reaction to ads is the mark of an inexperienced marketer, which those interviewed for our analysis of the Mars fallout (page 10) are not. As Kraft's Daryl Fielding observes, the rules of conversation, not marketing, apply to social media. Know when to speak, and when to shut up.

McCall cool under fire

EasyJet chief Carolyn McCall is measured and calm, too (page 24). Her dismissal of Ryanair as not being in her airline's competitive set is a clever riposte to Mr O'Leary's bluster.

Noelle.McElhatton@haymarket.com

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