Local foodies went into hissy-tweet mode earlier this week—over free cupcakes. It’s not that anyone thinks free cupcakes are a bad thing, it’s what people were being asked to do to get one. In an ill-considered PR move, Colossal Cupcakes tweeted: “Write a 5 star yelp review (only if we deserve it) and get a free cupcake tomorrow!" Thus began a round of tweets crying foul.
“That's terrible. 5 stars gets you a free cupcake? Earn your crowd, don't buy it,” was one tweet aimed at the downtown cupcake shop that opened just last month. Others proclaimed the offer “BS,” one said the FCC should be alerted, a public apology was requested, and potential customers were swiftly lost. “Was excited to try your cakes, but this pandering for top reviews honestly makes me not trust your business. Sorry,” said one.
And naturally, some in the Twitter world took the opportunity to promote the competition in Lakewood—LaBella Cupcakes—saying, “they don’t bribe for reviews.”
Colossal rapidly deleted its offesnive tweet and owner Kelly Kandah Ross says the faux pas was made by a new intern/marketing person who was trying to help. “We’re not giving those away for 5-star reviews,” she says. However, Colossal is setting up Yelp deals for customers. “It’s for anybody on Yelp. We only want real customers giving reviews.”
That’s bad news for the one Yelp user who did indeed, post a 5-star review for Colossal, which only boosted their less than optimal rating to a 2.5.
Meanwhile, LaBella Cupcakes tweeted some deals too. A free half dozen cakes will go to their 200th Twitter follower and after that, they will announce which lucky-numbered follower will have a cupcake named after them. No review required.