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DiGiorno makes major faux pas with #WhyIStayed joke

It's not delivery. It's despicable.


EJ Dickson


Posted on Sep 9, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 3:17 pm CDT

On Twitter Monday evening, domestic-violence victims shared their personal strories in response to former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s horrific assault of his wife. They used the hashtag #WhyIStayed.

The campaign was a powerful rejoinder against the dangers of victim-blaming. For the frozen pizza company DiGiorno, known for its off-kilter humor and quick responses to trending hashtags, #WhyIStayed was just another opportunity for a funny tweet about pizza.

Example of a brand using a trending topic without understanding the context #Advertising #SocialMedia #WhyIStayed

— Scott Paul (@scottatslee) September 9, 2014

“It’s not delivery,” wrote Jared Keller at Mic. “It’s disaster.”

Men and women who participated in the hashtag were horrified by the callousness of DiGiorno’s tweet, and weren’t afraid to call the brand out on it. And the social media team, rightfully embarrassed, backpedaled immediately. 

DiGiorno ran up in the #WhyIStayed hashtag without reading and tried to backpedal like…

— Jay Scott Smith (@JayScottSmith) September 9, 2014

The DiGiorno case study from that one tweet is going to be required reading for anyone studying social branding. It’s impressive, human.

— tiara.l.a. (@tiarala) September 9, 2014

Digiorno Pizza fucked up big time. Please go back to posting about how pizza is bae.

— stefan (@boring_as_heck) September 9, 2014

In a weird coincidence, I actually had a DiGiorno Pizza tonight and found it not up to their usual standards.

— John Hugar (@johnhugar) September 9, 2014

DiGiorno quickly deleted the tweet and posted the following hasty apology:

A million apologies. Did not read what the hashtag was about before posting.

— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) September 9, 2014

That’s all well and good, DiGiorno, but we’re still waiting on another apology—to anyone who’s eaten one of those frozen pizzas.

H/T Scott Paul/Twitter | Photo by jjsala/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Sep 9, 2014, 10:26 am CDT