Are LCBO employees too drunk to tweet?

TORONTO—After announcing a record breaking 4.9 billion dollar profit in alcohol sales, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario is at a bit of a loss to explain the rather underwhelming performance of its social media presence on Twitter.  Twitter, if you are not aware, is a web-based content sharing service where people can post important bits of data, such as pictures of their breakfast or pointed social commentary like: “LOL! That sucked nuggets!”

Tops off and bottoms up to @LCBO for selling record amounts of Pain-Go-Bye-Bye Juice to angry, sad, thirsty Canadians. #GlugGlug #Ahhh

— Mooseclean’s (@Moosecleans)

TORONTO—After announcing a record breaking 4.9 billion dollar profit in alcohol sales, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario is at a bit of a loss to explain the rather underwhelming performance of its social media presence on Twitter.  Twitter, if you are not aware, is a web-based content sharing service where people can post important bits of data, such as pictures of their breakfast or pointed social commentary like: “LOL! That sucked nuggets!”

When Mooseclean’s called Chairman Philip K. Holden for comment on LCBO’s lackluster Twitter engagement strategy, he mumbled something about “happy hour”, dropped the receiver, and apparently passed out.  We could hear him snoring somewhere in the distance but were unable to rouse him, despite singing “Home for a Rest” using our very best ‘rowdy party people’ voices.

Heather MacGyver, Media Relations Co-ordinator, later told us that Mr. Holden’s term as Chairman had “technically expired” in March of 2012, but he has been “unresponsive” and has “refused to move from the chair” for reasons she declined to specify.

Alcohol, it seems, may be both profitable and potentially problematic for the provincial Crown corporation.

The Twitter account in question, registered on April 4, 2011, has accumulated 4,312 followers, and no tweets.

Many were keen to speak to Mooseclean’s about this issue under condition of anonymity.  We tried to respect their wishes by deleting their names from the quotes, but we may have missed a few.  In our defence, we really hate editing.  Also, this article wasn’t particularly funny to us.  Plus, not long into the process we realized that writing about alcohol wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as actually drinking… and so we went to LCBO for a twofour and a mickey each.  We then returned to editing the article and were surprised to discover it had somehow become fricking hilarious.1

“It’s an open secret that most government engagement in new social media is driven by youth: undergrad field placements, terms, recent hires,” said this really hot girl who’s studying Commerce at U of T. “If management, with their limited buy-in, leaves these people alone with unchecked access to inventory… really, what do you expect to happen?”  Regrettably, she couldn’t show us because she worked in LCBO’s business office.  Her name definitely wasn’t Melissa.

“It’s fortunate that we haven’t drunk-tweeted yet,” said some guy we met nowhere near the main distribution warehouse. “They.  I meant to say they.”

Not everyone subscribed to the inebriation theory.

“I think it’s important to remember that this is government owned enterprise,” said Harvey Wallbanger, former two-time Canadian National freestyle drinking champion. “The fact that the Twitter account exists at all and that the associated government entity is profitable already defies reasonable expectations. I call it a win.”

“I think the speed question shows a real lack of understanding about internal government process,” said Tom Collins, a bitter, but highly knowledgeable former public servant. “Ontario moves with the velocity and dexterity of a runaway glacier, which is to say, two years is the blink of an eye. I think we can possibly expect to see some movement in this communication channel somewhere around the five year mark.  More realistically in seven. Ten easily.”

While Mooseclean’s is ultimately declining to say definitively that alcohol has some bearing on the neglect of LCBO’s Twitter account, our editorial staff are in unanimous agreement that in this case, time is not a factor.  The account’s use or non-use is not dependent on the passage of time so much as its usefulness.

We strongly believe that the stream will become active just in time to be irrelevant, at whatever time Twitter is jettisoned onto the social media junkheap with Friendster and Myspace.  This not negativity, it is merely an acknowledgement that, for government—risk-averse as it is—obsolescence represents the apex of a mature development cycle.  When something has developed so much that it can’t be developed further, it finally bears serious consideration as a standard to rally under.

And if you don’t believe us, ask your government how many computers are still running Windows XP.

UPDATE: On September 19, 2013, LCBO finally woke up. We hold ourselves entirely responsible. You’re welcome.


1 – For future reference, it might be useful to know that those who offered us vodka during interviews were less likely to have their names written down. We’d like to say it was honouring a trade, but memory blackout was probably to blame.

Sebastian Panache

Sebastian Panache

Editor-in-Chief. Follow him on Twitter @SebPanache. Or don’t. It’s okay, really.

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