In the consumer culture craze of Black Friday, a celebrity endorsement of a new product on the market should thrill technology companies like Microsoft, especially if said endorsement is from a star as widely followed as talk show phenomenon and renowned philanthropist Oprah Winfrey. However, that thrill factor only works if said endorsement is proven authentic.
On Nov. 18, Oprah tweeted that she “love that SURFACE!” (the Surface is Microsoft’s new tablet/laptop hybrid) and that she bought 12 of them as Christmas gifts this year. However, that tweet was not sent from one of her “#FavoriteThings,” but rather from Microsoft’s competition: the Apple iPad.
Michael Sebastian wrote on PRDaily that Oprah took a lot of heat from tech bloggers, some calling her disingenuous and “a sellout,” but he offers the valid point that this one tiny, somewhat irrelevant blunder probably won’t do much damage to the star’s image.
While a small mistake like this one isn’t a wailing siren to either Microsoft or Oprah’s public relations team to move into crisis management mode, it does serve as a comical reminder to those PR dummies just starting out that the Internet knows no shadowy hiding places and that digital words are permanent.