Asus has received a tremendous amount of criticism over a recent tweet the company posted on Twitter this week. Just about everyone from teenage boys to powerful politicians have posted tweets they wish they could take back, but when a large corporation does it, the PR ramifications can be costly.
The tweet was rather straightforward. It included a picture of a young woman showing off the Asus Transformer AiO computer. That in itself is nothing new, but this picture showed the woman from behind with text that read, “The rear looks pretty nice. So does the new Transformer AIO”. Not long after the shocking tweet, it was gone, and Asus later posted an apology: “We apologies for the inappropriate comment on Twitter earlier. We will take steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Unfortunately for Asus, the damage was already done. Other Twitter users responded, some even posting screenshots of the deleted tweet as proof that Asus actually said it. Others came to the defense of the post and suggested that offended readers should “get over it.”
In the long term, Asus may take a hit from this PR blunder, especially from its female customers, but it will likely not be too severe. It does, however, raise other questions about the general use of suggestively-dressed female models, often affectionately referred to as “booth babes”, at conventions and trade shows. Some might argue that the tweet only expresses what companies like Asus have been implying for years with their actions. Nevertheless, having it in writing always stings a little bit more when it comes to PR.