Lessons on how to survive public humiliation.

By Amber Hudson and Luke Sklar

We don’t host official witch hunts or employ good ol’ fashioned tar and feathering but boy do we love passive aggressively shaming bad behaviour on social media.

The latest target is this man pictured on the left, dubbed by the public as The Leprechaun.  His despicable behavior:   TTC bus was busy, he and his bag took up two seats.  A woman asked politely if he could move his bag so she could have a seat.  He not only didn’t move his bag but he told her to f-off, called her names and (allegedly) stomped on her foot.  All caught on camera.  Fast forward a couple hours and the video is all over social media.  The public has since grabbed their pitchforks, hoping for a sighting of The Leprechaun.   He’s clearly gone into hiding, not showing up for work, and the TTC has been the one to vocalize an apology.

There are plenty of social media sites out there that, if you can’t control your own bad behavior, are sure trying to control it for you through public humiliation (this one on airplane shaming is particularly good  Passenger Shaming).   So beware.

The lesson for marketers, for everyone, is your inside voice is now your outside voice.  EVERYTHING you do impacts your brand.   And when you screw up you better make sure you have a full goodwill bank.  Because when you do something bad (a la Hugh Grant getting caught with that hooker…and sadly countless other celebrities and politicians) you’ll have to dig into it.  And then you must immediately face the music, plead for forgiveness and ask for feedback on how to be better.

So what do we think The Leprechaun should do?  We think he should make a public apology, hang the blame on being in a drunken stupor and then spend a week at various TTC stations, handing out chocolate coins from his own pot-of-gold.

Image courtesy Brenda Davie/Facebook.