After losing $1.3 billion when Kylie Jenner publicly tore down the Snapchat app on Twitter last month, the company has now reportedly lost another $800 million after Rihanna publicly criticized an ad campaign that made fun of her domestic violence experience. The third-party ad, that was launched earlier this week, featured a “Would You Rather?” game, which asked users whether they would prefer to “slap Rihanna” or “punch Chris Brown.” The tone-deaf ad immediately drew criticism from fans, and later Rihanna herself, who posted her sentiments on her Instagram story.
Rihanna slammed the ad campaign and pointed out how it belittles the plight of domestic violence victims, including women, men, and children who are experiencing it and those who haven’t made it out yet. The 30-year-old singer also pointed out how it was irresponsible of Snapchat to allow such an ad to run on their app and how ignorant they were to spend money on something so vile. Rihanna also indirectly called on fans to uninstall the app from their devices by telling the company to “throw the whole app-oligy away.” Several users also expressed the same sentiments and posted their reactions online.
Snapchat immediately pulled the ad from its platform and released a statement explaining their side of the story. As reported by Vulture, Snapchat explained that the ad was apparently reviewed and approved in error and that it completely violates their set guidelines. In another statement, the company called the ad “disgusting” and assured fans that they were going to investigate how it was able to make it through their approval process.
Is it just me, or is this ad that popped up on my Snapchat extremely tone deaf? Like what were they thinking with this? pic.twitter.com/7kP9RHcgNG
— Royce Mann (@TheRoyceMann) March 12, 2018
Immediately after Rihanna’s reaction, Snapchat stock prices plummeted by 4 percent. According to the Wall Street Journal, the fall translated to a total loss of about $800 billion. The app reportedly also lost a huge number of users, as Rihanna fans likely decided to delete the app from their smartphones following the singer’s reaction.
Rihanna responding to Snapchat's ad. I can't believe they did this. pic.twitter.com/TpHQIXTm4j
— Gennette Cordova (@GNCordova) March 15, 2018
The specific advertisement referenced Rihanna’s domestic assault lawsuit against her then-boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009. The singer was physically abused by the 28-year-old rapper, which he eventually admitted in court. Brown was charged with felony assault, which resulted in a five-year probation sentence and six months of community service.