Pizzeria deftly responds to illicit photo on Facebook page

Papa Murphy’s Pizza acted quickly when a nude photo of a woman was uploaded to its Facebook contest for children.

Lions and tigers and nude women! Oh my! Imagine Papa Murphy’s horror when a photo of a nude women was submitted to its Mini Monsters photo contest targeted to parents of little pizza lovers.

The national pizza chain is holding a contest in conjunction with Halloween. Photos of kids in costumes, makeup and other Halloween-related images abound.

That is, until someone uploaded a photo—not a costume—of a nude woman around 8:30 p.m. (PDT) on Oct. 11.

The pizza chain immediately deleted when it learned of the inappropriate image. The next day, it acknowledged the problem, wrote a post about it, and moved on. Well done.

“Any company committing to a Facebook presence needs to be ready to handle the good and the not so good,” says Lindsi Taylor, director of corporate communications. “It’s just the nature of today’s social world.”

The response

Papa Murphy’s could have elected to simply remove the offending image and not engage in further conversation, but when they saw a couple of comments about the picture they immediately posted a response on its Facebook contest page. It was direct and timely.

“There was no question whether we would or wouldn’t post an apology. We just needed to do it in a clear, concise manner and do it quickly,” Taylor says.

At the time of this writing, the post has more than 630 likes and 122 comments.

Taylor also acknowledges she took a risk letting users upload photos to its Facebook page; they were not vetted before they went live.

“We knew going into it that there was a small risk around this approach, but again, we’ve always approached the page in an open format,” Taylor explains.

Papa Murphy’s has had its Facebook page for two years. “We’ve been extremely proactive about keeping our page transparent,” she said. “In other words, we’ve never deleted a wall post about a bad product or in-store experience.”

The lesson learned for other companies is to remain true to the original intent of being engaged in your social community, even when small elements of that community behave badly.

Albert Maruggi is a longtime blogger and host of the Marketing Edge Podcast, and Beyond Social Media on Blog Talk Radio. He blogs at Providentpartners.net/marketingedgeblog and is a former senior fellow of the Society for New Communications Research. (Image via)

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