Yesterday, Chrysler fired it's "new media" agency because of a profane tweet one of its employees posted on Chrysler's corporate feed.
Chrysler also issued a statement apologizing for the tweet...
"Statement in Response to Inappropriate Tweet from @ChryslerAutos
This morning an inappropriate comment was issued from the Chrysler brand Twitter handle, @ChryslerAutos, via our social media agency of record, New Media Strategies (NMS). After further investigation, it was discovered that the statement was issued by an NMS employee, who has since been terminated.
Chrysler Group and its brands do not tolerate inappropriate language or behavior and apologize to anyone who may have been offended by this communication. Furthermore, the Company has set in place appropriate steps to ensure that this does not happen again."
The problem with the tweet wasn't the inappropriate language; not in today's culture and not while your signature TV commercial features a misogynistic rapper who's famous for dropping the f-bomb. My guess is most of their 8,000 followers actually appreciated the humanity behind the tweet. After all, who hasn't sworn at someone who cut them off.
The real problem with the tweet is the contempt it shows for the city of Detroit and its people by the employee of the social media agency who posted it.
Chrysler's campaign "Imported From Detroit" is an homage to all that is good with the city. Yes, it's tough, gritty, but the underlying message is that the people here are good, hard-working, honest, creative and any communication that comes from Chrysler creating dissonance with that, undermines the credibility of the whole campaign.
If their partners aren't smart enough or disciplined enough to understand that, then they aren't good partners.
Chrysler did the right thing.