Doritos cuts ties with trans Spanish influencer, Samantha Hudson

Samantha Hudson Doritos
Source: Rolling Stone

In the dynamic world of digital marketing, brands constantly seek to connect with their audience through influential figures on social media. However, this strategy can bring both successes and controversies. Recently, the well-known snack brand, Doritos, announced the end of a social media campaign with Samantha Hudson, a transgender influencer in Spain, which has generated a whirlwind of reactions in the digital landscape.

The Origin of the Controversy

Samantha Hudson, a 24-year-old singer with 396,000 followers on Instagram, had posted a 50-second video on her Instagram account as part of Doritos Spain’s “Crunch Talks” campaign. It is unclear when the video was uploaded, but by Monday afternoon, it had been removed from Hudson’s page. No other posts on her Instagram account promoted the brand.

The Reaction on Social Networks

The situation took a turn when conservative-leaning social media accounts began to call for a boycott of Doritos, citing past comments Hudson had made on the same platforms. The campaign to boycott Doritos intensified, and the hashtag #BoycottDoritos circulated on X. Many right-wing accounts, which reshared the original promotional video from Doritos, focused on posts Hudson supposedly made on the platform when she was 15 years old, which they described as offensive.

The Controversy of Past Tweets

According to reports from Rolling Stone, Hudson had tweeted in 2015 about wanting to do “depraved” things with a 12-year-old girl. We have not seen the original social media posts, and these appear to have been removed from X. Screenshots of the alleged posts resurfaced on X, where they were recirculated.

Later, it was reported that Hudson expressed regret for the past tweets, according to Rolling Stone’s translation of her previous posts on X. However, it seems that the post where she addressed her past comments was also deleted.

Implications for Brands and Social Responsibility

This case highlights the complexities brands face when choosing their brand ambassadors. Corporate social responsibility and due diligence become crucial in the era of instant information and quick public judgment. Companies must carefully navigate their marketing decisions to align with their audience’s values and avoid potential image crises.

Conclusions and Reflections

The cancellation of the Doritos campaign with Samantha Hudson opens the debate on several issues: the impact of past actions on current online reputation, the importance of influencer responsibility, and the response of brands to social pressure. In an increasingly connected world, brands must not only be aware of who their ambassadors are but also of the digital footprints they have left.