Celebrities have a major influence on their fans, so when they put top brands on blast, the world listens.
These companies found themselves on the wrong side of some of South Africa’s biggest stars. Most of the incidents trended on Twitter, which resulted in some bad PR for the brands.
Celebrity brand power is nothing to mess with, and these companies found that out the hard way.
Bonang Matheba – SAA
South Africa’s media darling Bonang Matheba has top brands falling over themselves trying to sign deals with her. But South African Airways (SAA) did not understand the power of “Brand B” when it dismissed one of her complaints on Twitter.
“@flysaa we don’t like the couscous. Also that meal with the stew. Please hey. Also the funny cheese platter what what. Please,” she tweeted in April last year. But instead of the usual, “thanks for your feedback” reply, the airline decided to be spicy.
“Hi, please note that other passengers enjoyed the meals. #flysaaa_care,” the company posted. Ouch! But the airline issued an apology after receiving some backlash over their handling of the complaint.
Hi, please note that other passengers enjoyed the meals. #flysaaa_care
— FlySAA Care (@flysaa_care) April 18, 2017
Our Queen B @bonang_m We at SAA love you ❤ ❤ ❤. About our previous response ???? ???? ????. We are so sorry.
— FlySAA Care (@flysaa_care) April 19, 2017
Boity – Vodacom
Vodacom came under fire in August 2017 when customers mysteriously lost all their data and airtime. The mobile network promised to reimburse customers, but the damage was done with thousands of customers expressing their frustration on Twitter. One of those people was Boity Thulo.
“@Vodacom Stop stealing from us!!!!!” she tweeted, adding several “crying face” emojis. She was also not impressed with the company’s apology, the morning after the error.
“Good morning to everyone. Except @Vodacom, I hope you’re having the worst of all days,” she tweeted.
@Vodacom Stop stealing from us!!!!! ????????????????????
— Boity Thulo (@Boity) August 21, 2017
Good morning to everyone. Except @Vodacom, I hope you're having the worst of all days. ????
— Boity Thulo (@Boity) August 22, 2017
Tbo Touch – Cell phone networks
Radio personality Tbo Touch had scores of South Africans cheering him on in 2016 when he declared that mobile data must fall. He gave cell phone networks 30 days to drop their high data rates, and threatened to approach ICASA over the matter.
Weeks later Tbo announced that he had struck a deal with MTN, saying he got the network to drop its mobile data rates. He added that he had also made a deal with MTN that would see its customers streaming his online radio station, Touch HD, free of charge.
But his supporters cried foul, noting that MTN was already offering similar rates to the ones announced by Touch – which meant data had not really fallen. Touch was called a modern-day Judas, as the only thing he managed to do was get a deal with MTN for his station.
— Tbo Touch (@iamtbotouch) September 14, 2016
— Tbo Touch (@iamtbotouch) November 18, 2016
— Pocahontas ❤ (@KometsiS) November 18, 2016
AKA – SAA
Rapper AKA put SAA on blast two months after his girlfriend Bonang Matheba’s drama with the airline. He slammed the company’s bad service.
“I was jolted out of my seat and out of my sleep by a particularly rude woman. There’s something about being woken up with a big shock that really rattles you and gets your day off to a terrible start. I decided from that moment that I would try by all means to never fly SAA ever again.
“80% of the staff I’ve dealt with on SAA are friendly and go beyond the call of duty to do their job professionally, however the other 20% is giving this airline a terrible name. Crew that literally smack your seat back into position as the plane enters final descent. In the middle of a long haul flight, crew that make you feel they are doing you a favour by getting you a drink or a snack late at night,” he wrote on Instagram.
Cassper Nyovest – SuperSport, Savanna
Cassper Nyovest accused SuperSport of using his ‘Slyza Tsotsi’ slogan in one of its promos in 2015 without permission. The song was a major hit in South Africa, and became a local anthem.
“SuperSport 4 is using the Slyza Tsostsi slogan. Are we getting paid? Nope. Just like when Savanna used my sh**. Corporates never loved us,” he tweeted.
He also slammed alcohol brand Savanna for using ‘Doc Shebeleza’ in one of its ads without permission.
“Didn’t get a cent from this campaign and it’s everywhere on social networks. Pretty f***ed up what these corporates can do to us small fish who work hard to accumulate popularity and relevance,” he posted. It’s no surprise that he now promotes another alcohol brand!
Super sport 4 is using the Slyza Tsostsi slogan. Are we getting payed? Nope. Just like when Savanna used my shit. Corporates never loved us.
— R.M Phoolo (@CassperNyovest) February 5, 2015
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