It was reported today by Real Business that United Airlines shareholders have lost $180 million dollars in valuation because of a music video on YouTube telling Dave Carroll’s story about how United broke his guitar and then didn’t do anything to resolve the situation. The song is called United Brakes Guitars and is a catchy little tune if you like country; which I do NOT. Now I’m not sure if this is the exact reason for the decrease in value but I am sure that this is the second time United has fallen victim to Social Media and the information channels the Internet provides.
The first time was in 2007 when a story entitled United Airlines Files for Bankruptcy from 2002 was accidentally posted to a news site. That story was then picked up by Google news and the rest is history. They lost $1 billion in valuation for a brief period of time. Who knows how long it will take to bounce back?
One thing is for sure; United needs a small army of social media experts to monitor its online brand depth. 14 years ago, Continental Airlines ruined my Clark Kent racing bike on a flight to Kona but did pay for it in the end. If social media had been around in those days they would won some praise in the end.
And now, some country music for your listening/viewing pleasure . . .