It’s not everyday that I notice the tweets from Penthouse Australia in my Twitter feed. But after the marketing industry’s Mumbrella website published this article, it seemed to send the publisher’s Twitter feed viral.

While I only really read the Penthouse tweet stream for the 140 characters, it seems, someone is having way more fun with the brand and its reputation than usual.

penthouseThere is obvious frustration in every tweet, but this serves as a serious lesson for all brands – and not just those using social media in an official or even unofficial capacity. The clear point is that businesses and brands can now be held to account for their actions (or inactions). Sure, taking over an official Twitter account can cause some embarrassment and maybe even brand damage. But there are so many options available for George Costanza would call “the airing of grievances”. It’s no longer a question of whether your brand’s dirty linen will be aired in public. It’s a matter of when.

And with that in mind, business owners, directors and boards should consider updating their mindset, digital practices, approaches and security protocols. Or better yet, understand that we now live in an age of radical transparency, and that “ethical business practices” are the basis of our new social license to operate.

I’m expecting this to be the new case study on brand and crisis management for 2016 marketing conferences. But the question remains – what would you do if your brand was brandjacked?