How NOT to run a social media account
It has not been a good run for Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner lately.
Firstly, there has been the very public and slightly mysterious departure of the London restaurant’s founders. For their part, the investors currently in charge of operations claim no ill will or underhandedness has gone on, however this post from co-founder Matthew doesn’t make it sound like a bed of roses.
In the instance you are unable to view the above post, I have copied the text below:
Rudy and I have decided that we need to issue a short statement about our current situation.
– We cannot go into details at this time, but I can confirm that Rudy and I are no longer affiliated with Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner, or Rudy’s Vegan Diner, or Rudy’s Vegan Butcher and we have not been involved with the businesses since the beginning of January 2021.
– As we are sure you know we set up these businesses and we put our heart and soul into creating the business and all of its associated products. We were very sad to leave behind our creation, but as many of you know, we were never in it for the money, our driving force was always the welfare of the animals and the planet. We would like to extend our eternal thanks to all of our customers who have supported us so loyally over the years.
It’s our hope that one day in the future we will start again from scratch and open a business which can continue to make a difference.
Much love to all,
Matthew and Rudy
It is sad news.
Independent vegan business can be brutal and this past year has stretched many owners beyond their emotional and financial limits.
I don’t know what has gone on between the founders and the investors, so I won’t speculate.
I just hope it all works out for the best for them. They have done so much to promote vegan lifestyles in London and they deserve professional and personal success.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move onto problem the second.
What the heck is going on with the Rudy’s Instagram account?!
I have no idea who is running the show over there but they need some crucial emergency interventions around inclusive language, sexism, and customer interactions.
Check out this Instagram post from yesterday, International Women’s Day 2021 (the post has since been deleted by the account following customer complaints):
In the instance you can’t see the post, it features a photo of a vegan burger and the text, “Happy Women’s Day to all the beautiful women out there that look as gorgeous as this Dirty burger’.
Right. Are you ready? Let’s begin.
This is one of the most inept and inconsiderate social media posts I have ever seen from a vegan company. It is simply contemptable.
I struggle to understand how a brand can miss the mark so badly and in follow up comments even go further to dig themselves into a hole. The screen grab above shows an interaction between the account and a customers in which their point of view is defended because their delicious burgers are, just like women, fundamental.
I am not often left speechless but this had me staring at my screen for a long time, mouth agape.
What does internationalwomensday.com say about the day?
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.
So, nothing about celebrating gorgeous women and comparing them to juicy vegan burgers then? No?
This type of bullshit needs to be called out, especially in the London vegan community.
Many of us work hard to challenge this sort of harmful nonsense because we care about women. Our compassionate lifestyle choice is not a platform from which to launch misogynistic missives in order to sell food for a profit.
I haven’t seen an apology or statement of understanding from the people currently running Rudy’s.
The brand removed the offensive post and replaced it with this:
Happy International Women’s Day? This date is the publicly recognised collective front for global women’s movements to redress violence, sexism, economic disparity, and misogyny. It is a day to raise the voices and achievements of women.
It is not a catchphrase to help you shift plant-based protein.
This post reads like a lazy attempt to fix the previous terrible take. Kind of like piling a spoon of sugar on top of a steaming shit.
You don’t have to look too far to find further evidence of how women are framed in the world of Rudy’s social media. Take a look at this atrocity of an Instagram post from yesterday (yes, also on IWD 2021).
I will admit this one is as confusing as it is offensive. Is the cow giving a look that things are about to get Dirty AF? Is this the sexualisation of a dairy cow statue in order to sell vegan cheese sticks?
Carol J. Adams, where are you? This one is too much for me.
London, if you are going to spend your money with companies like Rudy’s you need to also hold them accountable for harmful advertising tactics. It is the VERY LEAST we can do. The bare minimum.
We don’t need to accept the use of sexist advertising in our community. We really don’t and we shouldn’t.
Rudy’s. Get it together. If you are unsure of how and why you can do better, listen to your customers when they tell you… and they have been telling you.