Bing steps in it with JapanQuake retweet campaign–updated with apology

or… how not to run a Twitter campaign.  Today, about two hours ago, Bing posted a message to their Twitter account, promising a $1 donation, up to $100,000 for Japan quake victims.

[blackbirdpie url=”!/bing/status/46597693585358848″]

update: The people behind the Bing Twitter account have done the belated right thing:

[blackbirdpie url=”!/bing/status/46698091604226048″]

The problem is that the tweet tied those donations to a retweet of the post, is being seen by many as a crass, opportunistic, and self serving way to cash in on a tragedy.  Others aren’t seeing it that way, and a search on Bing today yields plenty of retweets, fueled in part by backing from Ryan Seacrest and Alyssa Milano.

Still, the negative backlash, some of which is graphic, angry, and pointed, seems to far outweigh whatever good the promotion was attempting, especially as many perceive Microsoft as having plenty of money to donate to the cause (Microsoft and its employees have a stellar record on giving to causes of all kinds, this kind of self serving behavior is not the norm).  Some of the more pointed tweets:

[blackbirdpie url=”!/AndieTweets/status/46674742782066688″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/ChristopherB52/status/46674499046875136″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/TheRedOwl/status/46672103725998080″]

In the four hours since the tweet went up, Microsoft and Bing have not responded or clarified their position, despite numerous calls from other websites and a strong tweet backlash.

Really sad that in one of the most horrific tragedies of our time that Bing and Microsoft would take such a crass approach, and then not respond quickly once they realized the scope of their mistake.

You can make a donation directly to the Red Cross if you are uncomfortable with Bing’s approach.