Twitter Ads Pushed Komen Change of Heart

  |  February 3, 2012   |  Comments

Pro-choice groups ran Twitter and Google ads, while the abortion topic heated up social media sites this week.

Pro-choice advocates utilized paid online advertising, social media, and email this week to challenge Susan G. Komen for the Cure's decision to halt funding for Planned Parenthood. It apparently had an effect, and early Friday afternoon, Komen reversed the decision.

The controversial topic permeated online and broadcast media since Komen announced the discontinuation of grant money to Planned Parenthood on Tuesday.

In an effort designed to pressure Komen, Planned Parenthood's marketing team bought Promoted Tweets on Twitter for the search query "Susan Komen." Here's Promoted Tweet copy spotted by ClickZ News this morning: Please RT: Women's lives can't afford to be caught up in political battles. Add your name if you #standwithPP:

Social justice and health blog HealthJusticeCT also bid on Twitter keywords, following up with this Promoted Tweet copy: Why Pink Ribbon Money Matters for Women of Color by@JenCarrillo #komen.

On Google, pro-choice advocacy group Emily's List purchased "Susan Komen" keywords. The ad's headline read: Don't Let the GOP Force Susan G. Below it appeared the copy: Komen to Defund Cancer Screenings!

Liberal group sent an email to its huge list on Wednesday. The subject line read: Susan G. Komen Did What?!

MoveOn's email was pushing a petition designed to pressure Komen towards reversing its stance. The petition garnered around 330,000 signatures.

As hot-button political issues tend to do, this week's brouhaha has served as a fundraising platform for both sides of the abortion issue. After Tuesday's news broke, Planned Parenthood raised $400,000 from 6,000 online donors during the following 24 hours, while receiving six-figure donations from wealthy contributors such as New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

And before today's pivot, pro-lifers rallied behind Komen. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the breast cancer foundation had been seeing an influx of donations in the last few days.

Social Media Becomes Messaging Battleground

planned-parenthoodPlanned Parenthood has authored seven Facebook posts to its page since Tuesday, all intended to foster support around the Komen situation. The nonprofit pushed a shareable "Still Standing with Planned Parenthood" image that appeared to gain traction on the social site. Almost 15,000 Facebook users "liked" that particular post.

On the other hand, Komen finds itself in a most unusual position on Twitter. For the last few days, its community managers have favorably responded to pro-life tweets hash-tagged with "#IStandWithKomen." Now, the org's social media team must deal with a reversed stance, not to mention a flurry of Twitter users who fall on both sides of the divisive abortion issue.

In the last two hours, the @komenforthecure account has responded around 20 times to Twitter comments with the exact same message: Please read our latest statement. The statement from the organization's founder and CEO Nancy Brinker apologized "to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives."


Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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