Twitter has the most to lose in Burger King hack

On Monday, Burger King’s official Twitter account was hacked, with perpetrators causing all kinds of mischief, changing the profile picture to a McDonald’s logo, promoting McD’s specials and otherwise tweeting some decidedly un-family friendly messages. A social media consultant for Wendy’s sympathized, tweeting, “My real life nightmare is playing out over at @BurgerKing.” But while […]

On Monday, Burger King’s official Twitter account was hacked, with perpetrators causing all kinds of mischief, changing the profile picture to a McDonald’s logo, promoting McD’s specials and otherwise tweeting some decidedly un-family friendly messages. A social media consultant for Wendy’s sympathized, tweeting, “My real life nightmare is playing out over at @BurgerKing.” But while much of the reaction to the hack focused on potential brand damage to the home of the Whopper, the real victim is Twitter itself.

Brands have had plenty to be embarrassed about on the 140-character platform, whether it was Chrysler’s account venting about Detroit drivers, McDonald’s horror stories or HMV leaving the keys to its account in the hands of an employee it was in the process of firing. But this Burger King debacle isn’t a case of internal incompetence but rather a failure of Twitter’s security.

Accounts for the tech blog Gizmodo, as well as Justin Bieber and Lady GaGa have been hacked in the past, and at a time when the social platform has been increasing its offerings (and prices) for companies to take advantage of its seemingly ubiquitous reach, the idea that your brand’s official voice is just one quick hack away from becoming a meme mocked around the world might be a tad disconcerting.

Twitter acknowledged earlier this month that hackers may have accessed more than 250,000 usernames, passwords and emails. A drop in the bucket in the context of the more than 200 million overall Tweeters out there, but further evidence the platform has some substantial security concerns. Hacking the Biebs is one thing, but this Whopper whammy comes at an awkward time for Twitter given its lustful wooing of brand dollars. It just hiked the price of its popular “promoted trends” product 33% to $200,000 a day. Brand participation and enthusiasm for Twitter continues to play a key role in the company’s plans to monetize its already massive cultural cache.

The good news is Twitter’s actually already looking at bulking up its security— and the Burger King hack actually gained the brand 30,000 more followers. The bad news? Brands will want greater assurances that they won’t wake up one day and read a tweet that says their employees “crush and sniff percocets in the bathrooms.”

This story originally appeared at CanadianBusiness.com

Media Articles

On The Move: Changes at IPG Mediabrands and Ari Agency

A weekly update of who's headed where in Canadian marketing and communications

Rogers forms Elevate to offer creative agency services

Company plans a data-centric approach to differentiate from competitors

Shomi subscribers to get free Netflix for six months

Rogers eyeing other 'premium experiences' to offer customers

Why Rogers bought family-owned radio company TBC

SVP says stations fill a geographic need in Southwestern Ontario market

National Magazine Awards to be reformatted for 2017

Non-profit organization pledges a 'more focused' number of awards and international judges

Shomi subscribers binge-watch before service shuts down

Expert points out challenges in on-demand video space

Facebook says advertiser base passes four million mark

Social giant says 40% of active clients have created an ad for mobile devices

Global introduces explosive promo for Timeless

Experimental campaign puts Yorkdale shoppers on the site of the Hindenburg disaster