Appliance retailer, Bing Lee, has attempted to use the Queensland floods donation appeal in an effort to gain Facebook fans before backing down after a twitter outcry.
Rather than provide an outright donation, Bing Lee promised to provide $1 for every “like” it gained from users of the social networking site. The company’s twitter account, @ilikebinglee, then repeated the appeal.
“We are donating $1 for every fan on our Facebook page to the QLD flood appeal,” it said. “10,000 here we come!”
But Bing Lee’s apparent attempt to drive up “fans” on its Facebook page drew immediate criticism from a large number of twitter users with some using the hashtag ‘#charityfail’.
“The more I think about it, Bing Lee and Appliances Online's strategy is just off. Tasteless,” Twitter user and freelance writer, @Stilgherrian, wrote.
“Everything’s Negotiable. Except charity. You have to grovel for that,” Another user, @danmilian, wrote.
The outcry soon sparked a response from the retail giant, which claimed the true reason behind pushing for more Facebook fans was to “motivate people to raise awareness” about the floods.
“Bing Lee will donate the full $10,000 no matter how many fans we have,” it said in a Facebook message. “If in the process we have also inspired other people and businesses to take action, which it looks like we have, then this has been a good outcome.”
In contrast to Bing Lee, rival electronics giant, Harvey Norman, has pledged $200,000 with no strings attached while Dick Smith and Spotlight are donating $25,000 each. The Commonwealth Bank has donated $1.35 million and the total donated amount is $32,373,484.
ARN attempted to contact Bing Lee, but was unable to speak with a representative by time of publication.
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