Did Qantas Let Twitter Contest Go Too Far?

Airlines often bear the brunt of reputational crises, given their front-line interaction with millions of customers per year. But in the case of Qantas and a contest they ran for a rugby championship, the Australian airlines seems to have brought controversy on pretty much by themselves.

It seems as though two winners of a Qantas Twitter contest—which asked fans how they would show support for the Qantas Wallabies against a New Zealand side in the Tri Nations championship game—showed up to the match dressed as their favorite player, Fijian-born Radike Samo. In addition to the uniform, they happened to have their arms, legs and faces painted black, and Qantas took a picture of the pair and posted it up on their site. A firestorm ensued, and Qantas took down the photo.

The airline quickly apologized—twice, actually—but many Aussies felt like the apologies weren't heartfelt enough. Interestingly the player, Samo, said he didn't have an issue with the photo (which was taken with him in it), and that the negative reaction was "just silly."  What's your take: bad decision by Qantas or overreaction by the public?

  • Chris S. Cornell

    Both! Of course it’s an overreaction by many members of the public, but it’s also amazing that Qantas failed to have the foresight to realize the problems they were bringing upon themselves.