OUTsurance wrong to blame junior staffer

Johannesburg - A local social media analyst believe that OUTsurance were unjust in placing the blame of a ‘racist’ Fathers’ Day advert on a junior staff member. 

It was a poor reaction on the part of the insurer hiding behind a lowly junior staffer, CEO of local technology research firm Strategy Worx and social media expert, Steven Ambrose believed.  

“It is not useful to place the blame of such an incident on the lap of a poor youngster. All adverts should be approved by management,” he told Fin24. 

OUTsurance group CEO, Willem Roos earlier said that the social media post was not approved by the senior management team, which caused a backlash on social networks. 

The controversy erupted when OUTSurance produced a Fathers’ Day advertisement that saw the company lambasted by a barrage of tweets from irate Twitter users. Many threatened to boycott and cancel their OUTSurance policies.

The advert, specifically produced for Fathers’ Day, showcased only white fathers spending quality time with their kids. No black father featured in the ad. Outraged twitters users called the advert racist, saying that it implied only white dads could be good parents.  

“We apologise for our Father's Day video. It did not appropriately represent SA's demographics. It was an unintentional oversight,” the company tweeted from their @OUTsurance account. The company then promptly blamed a junior staff member for the production of the video. 

“In essence what they have done is standard advertising practice. This is no different to what corporates do. But companies are often not in tune with their market,” Ambrose added. “It is difficult to say how exactly it became a racial issue."

He said the real test was how OUTSurance will handle the social media storm and rectify their mistake in future.

OUTsurance marketing manager Peter Cronje said the company retracted the video post. He added that it did not have an "appropriate demographic representation".

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