Philip Ellis
News & Views
The Top 5 Twitter Gaffes of 2013

JP Morgan
This banking giant’s blunder could have been avoided if a little more thought had gone into the timing of the “#AskJPM” Q&A. As it turns out, people weren’t that keen to listen to the wisdom of banker Jimmy Lee while JP Morgan was being hit by $13 million in fines for its conduct during the financial crisis. According to communications expert Paul Argenti, JP Morgan pulled the campaign and “realised their reputation wasn’t what it once was.”

In a painfully misguided attempt at cashing in on the anniversary of 9/11, AT&T tweeted a photo of the New York skyline, with the Twin Towers shown on a handheld device. “We apologise to anyone who felt our post was in poor taste,” they tweeted, after deleting the photo. “The image was solely meant to pay respect to those affected by the 9/11 tragedy.”

Supermarket giant Tesco took immediate action to remove its Everyday Value burgers from stores, after it was revealed that up to 30% of them were made with horsemeat. However, Tesco’s social media team weren’t quite so quick, failing to stop a rather unfortunately worded pre-scheduled tweet from going out in the aftermath of the incident: “It’s sleepy time so we’re off to hit the hay. See you at 8am for more #TescoTweets”.

After going into administration earlier this year, HMV was forced to lay off thousands of employees. One of these employees happened to be in charge of the official HMV Twitter account, and they proceeded to live-tweet the “mass execution”.

Kenneth Cole
Cole really merits his own list, so often is he causing controversy. This year, in reference to the crisis in Syria, he tweeted: “Boots on the ground or not, let’s not forget about sandals, pumps and loafers. #Footwear”. Speaking to Details Magazine about a 2011 tweet that made light of the riots in Cairo, Cole stated that he believes offensive tweets can do your business good:
“Billions of people read my inappropriate, self-promoting tweet, I got a lot of harsh responses, and we hired a crisis management firm,” Cole told Details. “If you look at lists of the biggest Twitter gaffes ever, we’re always one through five. But our stock went up that day, our e-commerce business was better, the business at every one of our stores improved, and I picked up 3,000 new followers on Twitter. So on what criteria is this a gaffe?”

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