In a case of advertising clearly backfiring, Sprint Corp (NYSE:S) has pulled down a video ad in which a woman described T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) as ghetto.
The video ad was removed following backlash from people who took to social media to complain about the ad. Most of the people claimed that the ad was offensive and racist. The video ad was derived from a clip taken during a lunch meeting. Marcelo Claure, the CEO of Sprint asked the attending members what their first thought was at the mention of the word “T-Mobile.”
It was then that the woman blurted out that the first word that came into her thoughts was ‘Ghetto.’ The people burst out in laughter after her comment, but one black man in the room is seen lowering his head. The CEO also laughed while nodding at the response. Members of the public took to Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) to complain about the ad. Some expressed anger through their responses and most claim that the ad was insensitive.
A Twitter user identified on the platform as @snorkel42 stated that he would love to leave Sprint and join a non-racist carrier. Verizon responded to the post and even offered to cover the cost of switching from Sprint. Other mobile telecommunications companies also took notice of the ad and have also responded on Twitter. Most of the responses were posted on the Sprint CEO’s page on Twitter. One user stated that she would no longer do business with Sprint.
Despite the negative comments about the ad, the CEO still defended the video saying that the firm was sharing what its real customers think about the rival. He also described the customer’s answer as a tasteless joke and proceeded to say that they might not have been the user’s best choice of words. A few hours later, Mr. Claure finally agreed that he was wrong through another tweet. He stated that it was a bad judgment from the company, and he apologized for it. He also stated that his job is to listen to the customers and share their views. The post also announced that the ad would be taken down.