Snapchat isn’t having such a great 2018. The queen of their target market (vapid millennials) might have sank their stock with a single tweet. And now they’re taking heat for an ad that they ran featuring a joke about slapping Rihanna, that also just so happened to co-star a joke about Chris Brown.
A few days ago, some Snapchat users saw the following ad pop up for a game called Would You Rather.
Is it just me, or is this ad that popped up on my Snapchat extremely tone deaf? Like what were they thinking with this? pic.twitter.com/7kP9RHcgNG
— Royce Mann (@TheRoyceMann) March 12, 2018
As if I need to remind you why this is gross, Chris Brown plead guilty to beating Rihanna the night before the 2009 Grammys.
Snapchat pulled the ad, and issued the following statement to BBC Newsbeat on Tuesday:
“The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines. We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware. We are sorry that this happened.”
“Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there! But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess! I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb! You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it!!! This isn’t about my personal feelings, cause I don’t have much of them…but all the women, children and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet…you let us down! Shame on you. Throw the whole app-oligy away.”
Chris Brown also offered a similar sentiment via his lawyer and said that Snapchat needs to be Chris Brown’d: “Whoever conceived this at Snapchat needs to be slapped.”
In an attempt to do some more damage control, Snapchat released another apology today to The Hollywood Reporter.
“This advertisement is disgusting and never should have appeared on our service. We are so sorry we made the terrible mistake of allowing it through our review process. We are investigating how that happened so that we can make sure it never happens again.”
I used to work in advertising, so allow me to explain how it happened. A designer designed it, a copywriter wrote the copy, it got forwarded to an art director who gave it the thumbs up, and a Snapchat employee chose to run it before someone stuck a puppy dog filter on their mug.
Rihanna got two apologies out of Snapchat. She deserves many more apologies, including one for using such a dated picture of her. If your only Rihanna reference is limited to Loud, you need to update your iTunes.