Marc Jacobs Twitter Meltdown: PR Stunt or PR Gaffe?

It began on February 13th, 2010, when Marc Jacobs launched a twitter search for an official manager of their social media accounts. Their notorious CEO, Robert Duffy, was looking to pass the reigns onto someone else following a series of PR blunders.

Robert Duffy and Marc Jacobs canoodling image via Vanity Fair

The job requirements? Be engaging.

The application? Tweet something clever. Showing no interest in CVs or cover letters, the pool of applicants was wide open. Allegedly, an intern was put in charge of weeding through the arsenal of messages to find quality personalities for Duffy to interview.

On the night of March 24th, followers of the @MarcJacobsIntl twitter page were treated to quite a show.

This “unnamed intern” went through what has been called a twitter meltdown, calling the brand’s CEO a tyrant and warning followers that they have “no idea how difficult Robert is.”

This is where I’m sure many of you are up to speed:

  • Intern tweets that they have yet to find any suitable candidates and that the CEO is unhappy.
  • Intern continues to post about the pressure they are under and the stress of having Duffy as a boss.
  • Intern loses it.
  • Tweets are deleted and followed by an assurance from HQ.

image via Grazia

You guys and gals have no idea how difficult Robert is. I am only an intern. My last day is tomorrow. I wouldn’t be tweeting this if not!

I was asked to do this until we found a replacement… I hate this job. Hope they find someone soon. Robert is so picky! We have presented him with 50 people. He’s not happy.

Good luck! I pray for you all. If you get the job! I’m out of here. See ya! Son’t want to be ya! Roberts a tyrant! Seriously! He is tough!

I can call him out! I’m out! Won’t work in this town again! I know that! Learned a lot. But, I don’t have the energy for what is expected!

Yea, walk in my MJ shoes! Don’t judge me! I’m alone in this office having to try and entertain you all. This isn’t easy. I have tried. Done!

There are two streams of conversation that have been taken from this twitter show.

One story stems from those who question why any major brand would leave their Twitter account, their public voice, to be managed not by someone who is wholly invested in the organization, but by an intern.

Many would think that in the wake of twitter hijacks and fake accounts, like @BPGlobalPR, brands would know to entrust their most accessible public platform to someone with a true stake in their company.

The other story coming out of the Marc Jacobs twitter saga is not about who should have been in control of the twitter account, but whether this unnamed intern is merely a fabrication.

Paging through their twitter stream, it is clear that Marc Jacobs is no stranger to excitable tweets – it’s the main reason for the search for Duffy’s replacement in the first place.

  • What do you think:

Is this a case of another brand that should know better? Or is this really just another PR stunt?


Lindsay McHugh is an American expat living in Sydney, Australia. She holds a B.A. in Public Relations from Temple University (’08) and by day can be found working in Healthcare PR. Catch up with her on Twitter (@lmchugh) or right here on Little Pink Blog. Little Pink Blog & Little Pink Book PR are federally registered trademarks of Little Pink Book PR, LLC. © 2009-2011 Little Pink Blog & Little Pink Book PR. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I don't know to many CEOs who are tweeting about a brand anyway. They are usually talking about themselves (i.e. tips, articles they read, and encouragement tweets) I think that most large brands have PR people managing their SM presence. Could be a stunt to save face for his poor SM presence. I follow and those were the best tweets from that account. FYI 😉