Strike two for FNB’s Rbjacobs

Rbjacobs, the Twitter persona for financial services company FNB, continued to draw criticism on the social media platform on Wednesday after several seemingly careless posts.

On Tuesday, 22 April, Rbjacobs caused a storm when responding to a question on the whereabouts of the bank’s “Steve” character.

“He’s some where (sic) in Afghanistan, putting a bomb under a wheelchair and telling the cripple to run for it!”

Rbjacobs tweet
Rbjacobs tweet

The tweet was met with a backlash from the South African Twittersphere, and was quickly deleted, leading in to a string of apologies from the account.

However, amid the remorseful tweet string, the account made yet another careless utterance in response to a user implying that the account’s replies were automated by a “bot”:

“Would a robot be able to tell you the waffle and ice-cream you ate on 7 April are going straight to your hips? RB,” the FNB character responded.

RBJacobs on Twitter - 22 April, 17h20
RBJacobs on Twitter – 22 April, 17h20

While the FNB social media team maintained that the response was purely to illustrate that the apologies were not automated, replies described the comment as insulting, patronising, condescending and careless.

Rbjacobs apologised once again, saying no offence was intended.

FNB’s Rbjacobs account is a personified Twitter channel housing the bank’s first-contact social media PR team. The account is managed by as many as 20 people, sources say.

FNB spokesperson, Suzanne Myburgh, acting head of digital marketing and media, said in response to the Tuesday fiasco that the bank is “deeply disappointed” at the situation and apologised sincerely for any offence caused.

“We find the comment distasteful and in conflict with our corporate values. The tweet has been retracted. The matter will be investigated and appropriate disciplinary action taken,” she said.

FNB CEO, Jacques Celliers also apologised for the “@Rbjacobs wobble” and said the bank was investigating.

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Strike two for FNB’s Rbjacobs