Wetherspoons calls time on Twitter: Five times brands have suffered social media fails

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With the recent news that JD Wetherspoon has quit all of its social media accounts following what the pub chain is citing as bad publicity surrounding social media including the “trolling” of MPs.

With many questioning the group’s decision to leave social media, seeing as it is a powerful tool for brands to directly interact with customers, BLM analyses five times when brands have failed when posting on social media.


Last year, crisp-maker Walkers launched a selfie social media campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #WalkersWave for a chance to win free soccer tickets to the UEFA Champions League final.

The company turned the selfie submissions into a video, featuring former soccer player Gary Lineker holding up the images in front of the stadium. However, the company didn’t properly vet the selfie submissions, and images of serial killers, sex offenders, dictators and more appeared.

Jailed footballer Adam Johnson was one of the images sent in

The company, subsequently, apologised for the incident and pulled the plug on the campaign.


In 2011, airline Qantas started a Twitter campaign designed around the hashtag #QantasLuxury, which essentially asked members of the public to share their experiences of using the airline.

However, its timing was quite frankly horrendous, as its entire fleet was grounded just a day earlier because of a labor dispute, and its customers were angry.

Bombarding the hashtag, users voiced their displeasure.


It’s difficult for brands to control hashtags. Another group which asked users on their experiences was McDonalds, as the company tried to push its hashtag #McDStories.

McDonalds meant to promote the quality of its suppliers. Instead, people used the hashtag to tell the entirely wrong types of stories that McDonalds wanted.


Consumer health care brand Dove published a Facebook advert which showed four looped images of a black woman removing a dark brown T-shirt to reveal a white woman. This caused outrage with many people seeing the advert as racist.

The company admitted that it had “Missed the mark”, referring to what many viewed to be the racist undertones of the commercial.



BlackBerry, the once leading brand in the world of mobile communications, was caught out in the act after it suffered embarrassment when when the company tweeted a promotional post from a Twitter mobile app for rival iPhone.


4 Key Lessons from Some of the Biggest Brand Twitter Fails | Social Media Today



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