Like many companies, Hyundai motors has taken to social media as a means of marketing and maintaining brand awareness. Unfortunately for the however, the Twitter user name ‘Hyundai’ had already been taken before the Korean automaker even thought about social media. “Twitter’s @Hyundai page contains a collection of 140-character blasts in English and Korean about oysters, cell phones and the Yankees.”, reported Automotive News. “Clicking on a profile photo reveals a collage of scantily-clad ladies bearing cleavage and more, and a caption saying, “Have a Lustful Day.'”
Despite several attempts by Hyundai, Twitter refuses to get involved and Hyundai is now contemplating legal action. “They simply haven’t responded to requests,” said Chris Hosford, a spokesman for Hyundai Motor America told Automotive News. “Our brand name is extremely important to us. … We’re very disappointed that Twitter has shown no interest in protecting brand names.”
Currently, Twitter offers no special service such as ‘verified account’ status to businesses as it does to celebrities, and this frustrates professional marketers to no end. This situation with Hyundai is not unusual; many of the top 100 advertisers, as ranked by Advertising Age, do not own the Twitter usernames that correspond to their products and brands. Among those being squatted on are: General Motors Co., General Electric, Comcast, Eli Lilly, Kellog Co., MasterCard, Nestle, and Walt Disney.
Twitter has acknowledged, and expressed concern for, those marketers experiencing frustration on the brand verification issue, and has hinted heavily that a ‘Twitter Pro’ is coming soon, anticipating social-media as becoming a crucial part of any relevant company’s brand presence.
– By: Stephen Calogera