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Nissan Australia faces Facebook wrath

24 Nov 11

In the second Australian social media disaster this week, Nissan Australia has given a car that was a prize in an elaborate Facebook competition to a friend of the company’s social media co-ordinator.

The ‘Micraspotting’ competition, run to promote the Nissan Micra, asked entrants to find pictures of the car posted on the Facebook pages of other Australian businesses. The person who spotted the most throughout the promotion won the car, worth $20,000.

The winner was announced as Zac Martin from Melbourne. Unfortunately, Martin happens to be friends with Nissan’s customer experience channel co-ordinator, Simon Oboler, who is responsible for Nissan’s social media accounts. Martin even describes Oboler as his ‘BFF’ (Best Friend Forever) on his blog.

Nissan insists the competition was above board, admitting the winner was a friend of a staff member and even stating ‘we wish you hadn’t won’.

"We wanted to disclose this fact to all of you in as transparent a way as possible,” the announcement reads.

"Zac won. With no help from anyone. He just happens to know one of our staff members.”

Despite this admission, the company has taken a grilling on its Facebook page, with dozens of posters leaving messages such as ‘scum company’, ‘shame on you Nissan’, and ‘You didn’t enter this competition by replying to an email sent from Nigeria, did you?’

On the plus side, the disaster will at least distract Australians from skewering Qantas on Twitter for its equally clumsy #QantasLuxury promotion.

Both failures will surely have businesses looking very carefully at their social media strategies over the next few weeks.

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