Razor sharp Twitter Wars

I’m not shaving at the moment. Don’t ask? I’ve never liked shaving but when I grow a beard I end up looking like a member of Al Qaeda but some time it’s nice to give the face a rest.
However, you would think something as innocuous as shaving would never enter into a Twit War but I have just witnessed one. And it underscores the dangers of abusing the openness of Twitter.
Now I use Gillette and I user Azor by King of Shaves so I was somewhat surprised that following the Hand of Theirry Controversy, consumers focused on Gillette (a sponsor of Theirry) and threatened a boycott to punish the French captain’s handball. And this is where it gets interesting because Will King, founder of King of Shaves somehow found his company in the thick of it.
He takes up the story here on his blog Brand Royalty underlining the dangers of masquerading as a loyal Gillette customer when in fact you are the company’s public relations strategist. Will recounts how he received the following Tweets:

“Time for everyone to boycott gillette and go @kingofshaves #henrylecheat”

“Cannot bloody believe Gillette is standing by Henry. There goes my Mach3 in the bin”

“Wonder if #Gillette will drop #ThierryHenry now? Reputation management issue for brand, they are getting targeted for their association”

Now Will tells it in his own words…

Having (naturally!) re-tweeted tweet #1, I was then intrigued to read the following tweet from @charliedm: “A lot more people would switch to Azor if it wasn’t a cheap plastic piece of rubbish that leaves you looking all Sweeney Todd”.

Now, as I - a) I’ve shaved with our Azor for over two years now (and get the close, comfortable and cost efficient King of Shaves each morning), b) know that a lot of people are switching to our Azor - it was the #1 selling system razor handle last month, and c) know it isn’t a bit of ‘cheap plastic rubbish’ - rather, it embodies all that is great in consumer products, not all that is unnecessary - I was interested to see who @charliedm was…

Turns out he’s Creative Strategist for Porter Novelli London…Gillette’s PR agency. Ooh er. Someone’s rattled out there.

The following tweet exchange then ensues:

@kingofshaves Gillette stick with Henry. Many others not sticking with Gillette, but going to King of Shaves, Azor. Good!

@charliedm Well done for turning the misfortune and misery of as entire nation into a publicity drive. That’s not at all cheap”.

@kingofshaves “Don’t Porter Novelli look after Gillette’s PR…?”

@charliedm “It’s great for the kind of razor you might get in a Christmas cracker…

@kingofshaves “Um, you would say that given you handle Gillette’s PR. The King of Shaves Azor is a GREAT razor

@kingofshaves “Surprised that as chief strategist you make such a negative, public comment. wait until you see our october sales - bit worried?.

@charliedm “Does a lion find a dormouse worrying? Anyway, this isn’t work - this is jousting”

@kingofshaves “BA used to think that way. And learned the hard way. Joust away, my friend”.

@charliedm “Interesting. That’s just the kind of thing XL Airways used to say…”

Then, another enters the fray:
@shedmenshealth Playground bitching on twitter? :o/ Charlie, consumers can read! You should know better in PR. Will, stay strong fella!

Then another..
@peterdean1 “*enjoying* @kingofshaves tweet jousting with Gillette PR’s > @charliedm.

Then another…
@atterolognis “Interesting joust - Funny that he refers to the Azor as a bit of plastic when his is exactly that. Oh wait, it vibrates.

Then another..
Adam: Is @KingofShaves tweet jousting with Gillette PR’s > @charliedm going to turn into another great Tweet war? Hmm….

As in the real - stones and glass houses. A PR lesson for us all.

Porter Novelli have apologised here.

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