Metro Social Media Case Study - Mindjumpers (July 09)


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The Metro case is a great example on how powerful social media is, and is also an example of how quickly a company can end up in a social media crisis.

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Metro Social Media Case Study - Mindjumpers (July 09)

  1. 1. Case:
  2. 2. The world is changing faster than ever before. We, as individuals, have never had so much power and influence on society, politics, and business. We communicate our opinions with as many people as possible through various platforms on the Internet. This has become possible as the world has gone online, and because online media have become inherently social. We are entering a new era – an era where social media enables the individual to be in control. The words ‘social media’ are everywhere, but what do they really mean? Mindjumpers defines social media as; ‘Technologies which facilitate online interaction and conversations between people’. Technologies in this case refers to several social media platforms with different content, but all sharing interaction/conversation as a common feature. How do you, as a business, interact with these new media when it comes to management, marketing, and corporate communication? On the following slides you will find an example of the management of a Danish crisis recently played out through social media..
  3. 3. The Copenhagen Metro, in corporation with several sponsors, recently launched their annual short film contest, the prize of which is to have the winning film shown on screens throughout Metro stations in the Copenhagen area. The ultimate purpose of this is to offer both experienced and inexperienced artists the opportunity to show their work to a large and varied audience, via a new visual space under the streets of Copenhagen. However, the winning film, ‘XY’, determined by a public vote, was rejected by The Metro due to it being of a homo erotic nature, showing two men kissing. You can watch the film and read more about the case on www. In an interview with the Danish newspaper Metroexpress, the spokesperson from the Metro, Kåre Møller Madsen, said, “You could say that we are prude, but we want to protect a minority that would be offended. The Metro is for everybody. We don’t show violence either.”
  4. 4. This statement sparks online controversy, and a Facebook group is created; ‘Fighting the homophobia of the Metro.’
  5. 5. In a matter of days, the group gained almost 2000 members who discuss the case, post pictures, and write open letters to the Metro Company and the politicians of Copenhagen.
  6. 6. After just three days, the Metro gives in to the protests and the press manager posts the following message on the wall of the Facebook group; “As a result of your passionate outcry the Metro Company is doubting whether we made the right decision to exclude the film back in March. We are therefore now working on showing all ten films – including the two containing erotic undertones – on our stations. We will create a blog at on which the public is free to discuss whether the films are suitable for the public space. This will probably attract more outcry, but we’ve decided to make the discussion public. As mentioned it is still work in progress, but I thought you should be the first to know. Best regards Stine The Metro Company”
  7. 7. The Facebook group members received the Metro Company’s statement poitively; “Well communicated by Stine Christmas Nielsen! And a good example of how a Facebook group can be used to communicate a debate directly on the same level from both sides.” “We won! They will show the film! Well done and congratulations to all the people that have fought for it..” “It’s a fantastic piece of work you’ve done. It’s good on all levels; for the culture and for our little country. But it’s scary that Denmark is still on a Neanderthal level regarding some matters!”
  8. 8. A letter from the Mayor of Copenhagen, Ritt Bjerregaard; Dear Peer Aagaard Thank you for your letter concerning the short film from 60 seconds. However, it would appear as if the problem has been solved in the time it has taken me to return your letter. I am happy that the Metro Company has listened to the criticism and changed their decision about whether to show the film or not. It is of course wrong to link homosexual love together with violence. The two have nothing to do with each other, and I’m happy that the film will be shown in the Metro. I am looking forward to the World Outgames in Copenhagen. In spite of this little incident caused by the Metro Company, I am sure we will experience some exciting days of sports and celebrations. Best regards Ritt Bjerregaard
  9. 9. All companies can make mistakes. The Copenhagen Metro thought they made the right decision when they decided to reject the 60 second film. They thought they were being considerate to the population, but they neglected to consider freedom of speech, censorship and a large part of the population who felt violated and neglected by a public organisation – but they were reminded. The crisis quickly reached the press, with people choosing to boycott trains, hang posters on the walls of the Metro, and of course the hundreds of people voicing their dissatisfaction with the Metro via the growing Facebook group. The Metro admitted that they were wrong. After just three days they reacted to the crisis that was playing out on the Facebook group – and even more importantly they responded to the criticism through Facebook, letting them know that it was because of them that they changed their decision. The Metro responded right where the crisis took root – on Facebook, also promising to create a blog on their own website where the issue about whether or not the films are suitable for the public space can be debated (although as I write, it hasn’t happened yet). The protesting Facebook group members were positive towards the Metro’s response, and the crisis cooled quickly. The example shows that it pays to monitor social media, listen to the comments of the public, and respond quickly, ideally at the same point where the crisis originated.
  10. 10. At Mindjumpers, we explore this new world and research how we, as people and businesses, can interact within it, and maximise its potential. We like to share our knowledge, which is why you can find stories and articles from all over the world on or on our Facebook page:, which we update on a daily basis. Right now we are working with one of the world’s leading bioinotation companies, Novozymes, for whom we are doing the campaign, ‘I do 30’. The campaign is primarily run on social media platforms. You can see more about it at or If you would like to hear about tailored solutions in marketing, communication or management through social media you are more than welcome to contact us at or on +4520407091.