Home / Industry / Media /  What PC’s smoking pic trolling teaches us about online brand management

NEW DELHI : Global film celebrity Priyanka Chopra landed in a soup after her pictures of her smoking on a yacht in Miami went viral.Users on micro-blogging site Twitter trolled the 37-year old actor for picture especially as she had run awareness campaign for a cracker-free Diwali last year and revealed that she was asthmatic. She had paired up with Cipla for the video ad which shows her living a full life despite having asthma.

Social media experts believe celebrities have to deal with both the positive and negative effects of being active and open on social media platforms. Chopra has recently been featured in the Instagram Rich List 2019 along with cricketer Virat Kohli for making advertising money through posts on the photo-sharing app.

According to Sagar Patil, associate media director- digital, Carat India, a Dentsu Aegis Network owned media agency, people are heavily influenced by celebrities on social media as they feel they are part of their lives, hence reactions are strong whether positive or negative.

“It puts Priyanka in a bad spot for obvious reasons, she being associated with the UN, represents India on a global platform and endorses brand like Cipla. People will feel manipulated and would carry negative sentiment towards Priyanka and the brand as well.

This needs to tackle this immediately to ensure damage control," he said.

Apart from the picture of Priyanka smoking, fans dug out an old tweet from 2010 where Chopra had said, "Smoking is awful!!! Yuck!!!" and it took few minutes for that tweet to go viral as well.

“Repeating the same judgmental error makes the celeb a focal point for trolling and over time it could impact their brand value," noted advertising and tech industry old hand Ajit Narayan.

According to him, Chopra unfortunately has been caught talking opposites more than once and that too on the same issue. “On the brand value, it will erode if Cipla now acts on it and does something about it," said Narayan who runs advocacy marketing platform SOCXO as chief marketing officer and program head.

The actor also attracted criticism for putting out a tweet urging fans to support Assam Floods victims and not actively donating towards the cause despite being state tourism board’s ambassador.

“The beauty of social media is that every day there is a different topic that trends and people get hooked to it forgetting about what was the conversation yesterday," said Carat India’s Patil.

However, Narayan think celebrities have to handle social media goof-ups smartly and quickly either by remaining quiet or letting it pass or apologizing.

“There’s always this saying that public memory is short. But I feel it is not true anymore as the internet remembers everything. And it’s becoming important to be responsible for your actions as that’s what builds your personal brand," he added.

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