Persuasion Notebook offers quick hits on the business of persuasion from The Globe and Mail's marketing and advertising reporter, Susan Krashinsky. Read more on The Globe's marketing page and follow Susan on Twitter @Susinsky .
The social media team behind Mondelez International's Wheat Thins product has waded into controversy, taking part in a series of misogynist jokes on Twitter.
On Tuesday, the official Wheat Thins account sent out a message referring to a trending hashtag on the social media site, #MyGirlfriendIsNotAllowedTo, which has been used primarily for users to make jokes about how their girlfriends should be completely subservient.
Wheat Thins' much more tame (and still not at all funny) contribution on Wednesday afternoon came with this tweet : "#MyGirlfriendIsNotAllowedTo Eat My Lime Wheat Thins. Wait...I can get 8 replacement boxes at FlavorProtection.com ? Okay, she can eat them."
Some users on Tuesday reacted to the tweet, objecting to the company's participation in a degrading conversation.
Marketers do not need to be forward-thinking any more to accept that they need to be involved in social media to be relevant. But companies do not necessarily want to be part of every vanguard. In a misguided attempt to be in on the joke, one of Mondelez's social media teams appears to have waded into an extremely offensive conversation.
Tweets have involved suggestions that women should not wear certain clothes, talk to other men, or leave the house. Many of them include references to sexual domination and slurs against women. Other users suggested putting their girlfriends on leashes or tracking them with ankle bracelets.
Mondelez could not immediately be reached for comment, or to verify whether the message was approved before being published.