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Always Ask Permission: A Canine Caper on Facebook

Posted by Emily Grim on February 28, 2013

When it comes to posting content for brands, it can be exhilarating to find just the right image that you know will spark engagement with your fans.

Beyond timeliness of messaging and knowing your audience, though, it’s absolutely essential to give credit where due when content doesn’t belong to the brand. So Delicious, a dairy-free food brand, dodged a bullet yesterday after posting a photo without consent from, or attribution to, artist Theron Humphrey.

 

So here’s what went down:

  1. Humphrey’s photo of Maddie, his photogenic and popular Coonhound, appeared on his Tumblr blog, “Maddie On Things,” in January 2013. The photo post in question has garnered over 54,000 notes on Tumblr.
  2. So Delicious posted the photo of Maddie the Coonhound to its Facebook fanbase of over 152,000. The brand altered the photo to include So Delicious product, without crediting the artist or acknowledging the original photo source.
  3. Humphrey posts a screen capture of the So Delicious content, urging his Facebook fans to write on the brand’s wall and encourage them to donate $10,000 to an animal rescue charity. The artist also mentions the brand on Twitter:

 

The plot thickens! Fortunately, this story doesn’t end in Internet flames. So Delicious removed the content and within 24 hours, posted an apology alongside a pledge to comply with Humphrey’s request. While they may not have initally done the right thing in posting the photo without attribution, So Delicious took prompt and appropriate action to put out the social media fire before it had a chance to burn the whole Internet down compromise its brand’s Facebook presence. In the sage words of Alanis Morissette, "You live, you learn."