Boost Juice got more than it bargained for launching its latest online promotion at the start of this week, with a branded website bombarded with swear words, including c**t.
The promotion was for Boost Juice’s What’s Your Name Game, a long-running promotion that gives away free drinks to people who visit Boost stores on the day their particular name is suggested.
Boost Juice customers were encouraged to submit their names into a pool on the website from which the next names would be selected for the promotion.
But the juice franchise learnt the importance of applying filters to marketing campaigns that rely on user suggestions, with many people taking advantage of the ability to submit any word they wanted.
The result was a grid of colourful boxes with the word c**t clearly spelled out, as reported by Pedestrian.
The offending entries have been weeded out and Boost has applied a filter to the grid.
Boost Juice founder Janine Allis also appears to have taken the mishap in her stride, tweeting a link to reports of the marketing fail yesterday evening with the comment “oops. At least someone is having fun”.
Oops . At least someone is having fun 🙂 http://t.co/VeSrWO1QR5
— Janine Allis (@Janineboost) September 9, 2015
The rest of the Boost team also saw the humorous side of the incident, with the company saying in a statement to SmartCompany the “interwebs had a field day … when the overly trusting digital team failed to apply word filters to the open name registration form” and “Operation Swear Jar was enacted at Boost HQ”.
“Who would have thought that the internet was full of cheeky, subversive people who want to outsmart us. Not us – obviously,” said Boost’s head of digital Christian McGilloway in the statement.
Boost confirmed a word filter has now been applied to the competition but said this “hasn’t stopped cunning linguists from trying to find a way around it”.
“The people are keeping us on our toes, that’s for sure,” McGilloway said.
Nicole Matejic, crisis management expert and author of the book Social Media Rules of Engagement, has praised Allis and Boost Juice’s handling of the situation, telling SmartCompany this morning Allis has “done the right thing” by acknowledging the issue publicly and quickly.
Matejic says applying filters to user-generated content to ensure certain words are not included is “common sense” and “should have been thought of prior to launch”.
However, she says Allis’s response on social media, and the fact that Boost Juice acted quickly to fix the site, has “taken the sting out of what could have potentially been a disaster”.
SmartCompany contacted Allis but did not receive a response prior to publication.
*This article was updated on September 11 to include a response from Boost Juice.