Mayday, mayday - Qantas' attempt to exploit Twitter is going down.
Earlier today, the airline, recently plagued by bad press, sought some light-hearted social media buzz.
The airline's official Twitter account, @QantasAirways opened a competition, with first Qantas pyjamas and "a luxury amenity kit" as prizes. "To enter tell us 'What is your dream luxury inflight experience? (Be creative!) Answer must include #QantasLuxury" the account tweeted.
The campaign did immediately create a viral buzz - only not the kind the airline was after.
By early afternoon, it was splashed across the Sydney Morning Herald's website and that of other media as the Twitterati adopted the #QantasLuxury hashtag for sport over the airline's recent industrial woes and aircraft problems.
"Getting from A to B without the plane being grounded or an engine catching fire #qantasluxury" ran a typical entry.
A spokeswoman for the airline told The Australian the competition was "part of our ongoing social media strategy”. She added, “A number of people have legitimately entered the competition."
Perhaps the last word* goes to the many who retweeted the quip, "Somewhere in Qantas HQ, a middle-aged manager is yelling at a Gen Y social media 'expert' to make it stop."
* Qantas wishes. Late afternoon, #QantasLuxury tweets continue to stream at the rate of almost one a second