Stella Artois Attempts to Erase Negative Nickname from Web

January 6, 2012
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Stella Artois has recently tried to remove all references on Wikipedia to its pejorative nickname of “wife-beater” in the UK.  The brand hired a PR firm to make several edits to the Stella Artois Wikipedia page and the “Wife-Beater” Wikipedia entry, in which one of the definitions reads, “A British name for Stella Artois, based on the supposed behavioral effects of the drink.” The changes were quickly reversed by site users, and the brand is facing backlash from the online community for trying to suppress free speech.

Stella Artois Rick Santorum FAIL

This is certainly not the first instance a brand has tried to manipulate its online presence, nor will it be the last. In the current US GOP race, for instance, Senator Rick Santorum is dealing with a similar issue in which an online campaign arose to coin his surname as a vulgar sexual innuendo in response to anti-gay comments he made back in 2003. The site is now a top result in a Google search for his name, and in turn, Santorum asked for Google to remove the site back in September, but was denied.

Online reputation is a big deal. Knowing how to deal with it can be a make it or break it for your brand.

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