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Snapchat Lost Nearly $1 Billion in Value After Rihanna Skewered One of its Ads

Edited -- Shutterstock

Less than a month after Snapchat's valuation plummeted due to a critical tweet from Kylie Jenner, the app's parent company, Snap Inc., again took a financial hit this week after Rihanna publicly skewered one of its advertisements. 

The ad in question was designed by a separate company, and asked users to play a game of "Would You Rather." One prompt queried users if they'd rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown. Because Brown physically abused Rihanna in 2009 while the pair was dating, the ad spurred controversy, and prompted Rihanna to publicly air her disapproval to her massive online audience.  

The Wall Street Journal reports that Rihanna's message, posted Monday, caused an $800 million drop in Snap's market value. Rihanna's message took issue with the since deleted advertisement's insensitivity toward victims and survivors of domestic abuse. According to Bloomberg, Snap took a 4.5% skid immediately after Rihanna's message spread across the web, with shares trading at $17.05 early Friday afternoon. 

The singer's message read in full: 

"Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain't my fav app out there! But I'm just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess!" Rihanna wrote. "I'd love to call it ignorance but I know you ain't that dumb. You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it."

Snap apologized, calling the advertisement "disgusting" in a statement. 

"This advertisement is disgusting and never should have appeared on our service. We are so sorry we made the terrible mistake of allowing it through our review process. We are investigating how that happened so that we can make sure it never happens again.”
 

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.