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02/03/2009 by

Why Ryanair Needs A Social Marketing Agency

Last week Ryanair clearly showed why brands need a very experienced social media marketing agency. See how Ryanair made a classical mistake: it neglected the code of ethics that apply to the social space. Not a very smart move from a brand equity point of view…


What happened? Jason Roe an Irish freelance web developer, was poking around on Ryanair’s website when he found an interesting usability bug which “allowed users to obtain a 0.00 charge for their flights.” In short, Roe found a trick to fly for free.

Roe was quick to point out that he did not complete any transactions at the steep cost of £0.00, but did think it was relevant that someone from Ryanair should know of the error and perhaps even work to rectify the problem.

The response he received from Ryanair was unbelievably bizarre, and incredibly, brazenly, rude.

This was Ryanair’s answer to Jason Roe:
you’re an idiot and a liar!! fact is!
you’ve opened one session then another and requested a page meant for a different session, you are so stupid you dont even know how you did it!…

It goes on like this. Check out the full post, replete with shameless Ryanair comments at Joe Roe’s blog.

Why do brands only want to learn the hard way? Why do brands not understand it’s a new era in which digital consumers are in control? Why is it so hard for brands to learn that the internet is an unctrolled medium owned by us all?

How many items do we need to write here before brands are going to listen? How many times do we need to tell brands: all brands need to run full year conversational tracking programs to map and measure online sentiment around brands?

How many times do we need to tell brands: advertising and pr agencies will not help you in the social space? You will need to hire an experienced social media marketing that really knows the ethics in the blogosphere. An agency that is compliant to the WOMMA code of ethics.

If you don’t believe it yet? Just read the article social media mistakes of 5 big marketers.

Why should brand marketers start listening to experts? Because your brands are your biggest assets. Don’t damage your brand by being ignorant or arrogant.

Brand marketers. Why do you think bloggers like us and many others spend their free evenings and weekends writing items like these? So when you leave the office at 18:00 ours to see your family, we start spending our free time preventing you from making huge mistakes.

What do we want in return for all these free lessons? That you listen every once in a while and seize some opportunities. I hope some marketers and bloggers feel the same…

If you enjoyed this post or want to share your opinion: please leave your comment below or subscribe to our rss feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Source: SocialMedia8 and Word of Mouth Marketing Association


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Comments (10)

  • Opposite of Ryanair 03/03/2009, 00:20

    In direct response to Ryanair’s attitude I set up a blog to highlight companies that do the right thing by their customers. It’s only getting off the ground, and I’m actively looking for good customer experience stories that are the opposite of Ryanair. If you blog a story, please email me to let me know and I’ll be sure to highlight it on the blog. I’m also on twitter as @oppositeryanair



  • docashdesign 03/03/2009, 01:27

    They should change their slogan now to:

    – The low fare, and low flow airline.

  • @AJ

    We like your idea! Hope you get a lot of examples.



  • @docashdesign

    Maybe we will see this tagline in a new campaign 😉


  • Laurens 03/03/2009, 10:25

    Ryanair should have been glad that someone has the decency to notify them about this bug!

    I can remember that here in the Netherlands an online shop had a similar bug (

    Anybody could buy an big flatscreen TV for just 99 euro’s. The bug was online for a couple of days, because the Dutch content managers could not fix it, only the people from the German Headquarters had the rights in the CMS system to fix the bug.

    But it gets worse, some people set up a law suit against the firm, in order get their new TV’s for 99 euros.

    Conclusion: a lot of negative sentiment towards the Otto brand, but on the other hand, a lot of unreasonable consumers, that believe that if a web shop prices incorrectly, they have the right to receive the product according to the incorrect price.

    In the end Otto didn’t had to deliver the flatscreens for 99 euro’s, according to the Dutch court.

  • Hiroumi 16/03/2009, 21:50

    Is he really a staff of Ryanair?

    Well the handle name is Ryanair staff but someone who is pretending to be a Ryanair staff can write such comments.

    I don’t know what is the truth.

  • Hiroumi 16/03/2009, 22:40

    Soory, I found this article.
    We have seen the IP addresses of the commenters and they all trace back to Ryanair HQ

  • @ Hiroumi

    Thanks! I’m not saying we do not make mistakes (we bloggers are human too) but we really check very things thoroughly before we post them here 😉


  • boston marketing agency 25/04/2012, 00:16

    It’s difficult to find experienced people in this particular topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • web designer massachusetts 25/04/2012, 00:22

    My family all the time say that I am wasting my time
    here at net, however I know I am getting familiarity all the time by reading
    such nice content.