marketer’s perspective on consumer subpoena by esteh indonesia

Hello, OptiMIST People!

Back at it again with KaMIST! Your weekly dose of insights into the latest marketing trends. In this week’s KaMIST we’ll dive into the viral consumer subpoena by Esteh Indonesia.

Lately, the internet has been faced with an uproar by the news of a Twitter user who criticized Esteh Indonesia but ended up being exposed to UU ITE. This event caused the keyword “UU ITE” to become a trending topic on social media. The tweet is alleged to contain insults to PT Esteh Indonesia Makmur. 

Chronologically, this feud began with the tweet of a consumer named Gandhi via the Twitter account @gandhoyy. Gandhi submitted a complaint for one of Esteh Indonesia’s products, namely Chizu Red Velvet, which was considered too sweet. In his upload, Gandhi mentioned that Chizu Red Velvet belonging to Esteh Indonesia contains as much as three kilograms of sugar. Gandhi’s tweet was quickly responded to by @esteh_indonesia, which stated that the information had been sent to their legal team. Following the response to Gandhi’s tweet, Esteh Indonesia also gave a subpoena signed by the legal team, Brian Michael, on Saturday, September 24, 2022. Gandhi finally issued a Twitter apology for his insensitive comment on Sunday, September 25, 2022.

The managing partner of Inventure, Yuswohady, addressed this problem and offered advice on what a business should do in a similar position. He agrees that many brands are experiencing a culture shock related to the current pattern of consumer and producer interactions. He added that since consumers of today have access to information, the world has taken on a horizontal pattern. On public forums, consumers are free to comment on any topic, including brands. Many brands are still unaware of this situation. They thus frequently overreact.

Yuswohady appealed with Esteh Indonesia to revoke their subpoena since it was thought to worsen the issue and further stigmatize the brand. Businesses shouldn’t react angrily to remarks made by online users. Additionally, the business should invite consumers to face-to-face meetings in order to resolve issues like these. The objective is to prevent issues from growing and to enable more professional problem-solving.

Managers understandably want to suppress or downplay negative reviews since they may be particularly harmful to businesses and are a source of concern. In fact, one of the top results for a search on “negative online reviews” on the internet is “how to remove negative online reviews.” This new study questions the assumption that negative reviews are invariably detrimental to a company’s bottom line. In fact, it implies that when consumers genuinely identify with a brand and recognize elements of their personality or identity in the brand, such evaluations could even provide positive results.

According to Ordabayeva, consumers who connect with a brand are more inclined to carefully consider bad evaluations in an effort to shield the brand—and by implication, themselves—from negative feedback. Consumers examine the social proximity of reviewers to themselves in particular, employing a variety of demographic, social, and group aspects to justify ignoring critical comments from socially distant reviewers. In the end, this shields brands that are important to identify from unfavorable comments. Dahl continues, “Negative reviews may even result in advantages for brands compared to favorable ratings. Notably, after favorable evaluations, consumers do not examine reviewer social proximity or resemblance in the same way. Regardless of their socioeconomic standing, they pay attention to such reviews because they always appreciate good comments about themselves and companies that are important to their sense of identity.

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