Direct insurer, OUTsurance, landed itself in hot water over Father’s Day weekend for apparently running an advert which featured mostly white dads and only one black father. CEO of OUTsurance, Willem Roos, has since told Justmoney that this was not an advert created by the insurer but a video clip that had been retweeted and shared by a junior employee on the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
“It was not an OUTsurance advert at all but a link to a viral video that one of our social media employees shared. It wasn’t approved by exco. I know we have egg on our faces now as a result. Every Tweet today is like putting up a big billboard. It didn’t reflect the demographics of South Africa and the OUTsurance clientele,” conceded Roos.
OUTsurance has since withdrawn the video but it suffered backlash from people on social media who believed the advert insinuated that black men weren’t good fathers and threatened to withdraw their business from them.
The insurer issued an apology on Twitter, saying: “We apologise for our Father’s Day video. It did not appropriately represent SA’s demographics. It was an unintentional oversight.”
Roos said there would be protocols in place imposed on any Tweet or Facebook message – the same ones that apply when the company makes an advert. He admitted that this would fly in the face of creating a nimble marketing team but added that there was no quick fix to the situation. “We’ve caused damage and we’ll have to take the knock. We have put a lot of effort into transformation and will intensify our efforts,” he said.