Parklife receives heat for SMS marketing scheme addressed from ‘Mum’
UK festival Parklife attempted to tackle ticket-sales marketing using a new, personal method by targeting potential ticket buyers directly. In effort to encourage festival fans to purchase tickets soon, Parklife sent out a batch of mass text messages that appeared in thousands of individuals’ phones addressed from ‘Mum.’ Though the festival’s marketing strategy did indeed turn heads, the attention has not been the reaction Parklife intended.
The ill-thought out marketing strategy struck an offensive tone with many receivers, including Ros Prior, a 19-year old whose mother passed away three years prior. “My phone went off and I clicked to read it. It said, ‘New message from Mum,’ and my heart stopped,” Ros explained in a recent interview with BBC. “Even though it was only two seconds of sheer panic, it was horrible because I just saw ‘Mum.’ You just think, ‘Oh my god, is she alive?’ I started crying. Then I read the text and realized it was from Parklife.”
76 complaints were received by the Information Commissioner’s Office, the office responsible for handling grievances about private information, and several attendees were so upset by the text that they sold their already purchased tickets. Immediately following the complaints, Parklife responded with a nonchalant attitude, tweeting: “So this is what it feels like to be a jar of Marmite #LoveItOrHateIt.” Later, the Tweet was deleted and the festival issued an official apology.
The communication was intended as a fun way of engaging festival-goers. However, the festival acknowledges that this was not an appropriate theme for everyone. The Parklife Weekender wants to apologise for any offence caused by the SMS marketing message sent to their customers earlier this year.