Bold marketing moves can garner positive results, however risking Children’s Online Privacy is not a bold marketing move it is a risky one according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
So when Chipotle announced that it is the first major restaurant brand to market itself on TikTok that is exactly what they have done according to Johnson. TikTok recently agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after allegations that the app knowingly and illegally stored the names, email addresses, and locations of users under the age of 13. The fine was $5.7 million fine for collecting personal information about its pre-teen users.
While today Chipotle is popular with Gen Z—and the chain is reaping high user engagement numbers from its efforts with TikTok while many parents are unaware of the FTC violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The FTC continues to want more information on TikTok privacy usage.
TikTok, which started in China in 2017 and became the most downloaded app in the U.S. about a year ago, allows users to create and share short videos. It’s especially popular with those born between 1997 and 2012. Chipotle’s official presence on TikTok began after the chain noticed “organic” content about the brand frequently appearing on the app, said Tressie Lieberman, Chipotle’s vice president of digital marketing and off-premise.
The Newport Beach, Calif.-based chain first posted on the app last summer, when a Maryland Chipotle employee had a customer film a video of him flipping a lid from one of the fast-casual chain’s bowls. The video, which was originally posted to Instagram, has received more than 1 million views.
“We instantly knew from the reaction that this was the right content to start our first partnership with TikTok, inviting our customers to try the lid flip trick for themselves with a branded hashtag challenge,” Lieberman said.
So, is risking children’s customer privacy with Lieberman and Chipotle? It would appear so. Do you think that Chipotle should warn parents or the underage users of the risks of using TikTok? Is your brand prepared for the down side if TikTok were to continue gathering your kid’s app usage, interest, and online information for other purposes? Is this how you want to market to Kids?
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how www.FoodserviceSolutions.us can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization? Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information