What started as an attempt by Korean Air to promote its flights between Inchon, Korea, and Nairobia, Kenya, has ended with the airline having to apologize to a lot of people who aren’t thrilled with the airline’s suggestion that people visit Kenya to see its “indigenous people full of primitive energy.”
The ad has since been taken out of circulation, though as of right now, this link shows the entire thing on Korean Air site.
Once news about the ad hit the Internet, the response from Twitter users with the #primitiveenergy hashtag — was immediate and wide-ranging, from the irate:
— Wayua Muli (@MizMuli) June 18, 2012
To the humorous:
My primitive Monday energy is overwhelming…I’m thinking of hanging out with the Lions chilling on Kenyatta Avenue #PrimitiveEnergy
— Wamahiga Muhia (@wamastonnezz) June 18, 2012
To the Photoshopped:
— Fredrick Juma (@fredjuma) June 18, 2012
Korean Air’s Twitter account spent most of the day responding with the following:
“Regarding our recent promotional notice of Nairobi, we are checking on this issue accordingly.We sincerely apologize for this situation.”
And then posted this:
“The recent feedback of our notice of Nairobi had been removed from our website, and we will resume the page after revision.”
Once again, much like the Starbucks goof in Ireland, big companies need to realize that putting things out on Twitter is immediate and, in spite of the fact that you can delete the original Tweet, can take on a life of its own.
Korean Airlines: Failure to launch [Al Jazeera]