"Shame on you."
In the wake of those three uttered words, self-service advertisement platform Snap's stock value plummeted close to $800 million.
Talk about the power of celebrity endorsement.
Or, rather, anti-endorsement, as uber-star Rihanna's short declaration was decidedly centered on an online development she found most deplorable and in a need of personal condemnation.
Snap allows third-party users to buy and post online ads. A recent CNN article notes that the process proceeds "without human negotiation," an absent condition that undoubtedly played into what is now a major public-relations disaster for the company.
Here's why: A Snap advertiser's attempt at humor failed abysmally when it made light of a case several years ago in which Rihanna was physically beaten in a domestic violence incident.
Understandably, the world-known figure took umbrage with that, with her remarks hitting Snap like a proverbial ton of bricks.
"I'm just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess!" Rihanna remarked in a statement following the ad's display (which was of course quickly pulled). She questioned why any company "would intentionally bring shame" to domestic violence victims.
That's a good question, of course, and Snap is reeling in the wake of that query. A chief company executive duly admitted that the social media platform "dropped the ball" in its failed due diligence.
Some advertising and market-linked commentators question these days the impact of high-level celebrities in influencing consumer attitudes and buying decision. The recent matter involving Rihanna manifestly demonstrates that some social influencers continue to have immense power in the marketplace.