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British embassy in US in embarrassing Tweet fiasco

The UK’s diplomatic mission in Washington has issued an apology after a picture of a White House cake was tweeted ‘commemorating’ its burning 200 years ago.

The cake, which featured the official residence of the US President surrounded by sparklers, was tweeted along with the  accompanying tag:

“Commemorating the 200th anniversary of burning the White House. Only sparklers this time!”

The original White House was set on fire in 1814, as British forces descended on the residence during the so called War of 1812 between Britain and the United States.

It remains the only time in US history, apart from during the American War of Independence, that a foreign country has taken and controlled the American capital.

It was a clumsy tweet that will shock and surprise many people working in digital marketing. It is certainly not the sort of content that search engine optimisation (SEO) providers would have judged suitable to set alight the Internet; not in a positive way, certainly.

Indeed, at Pressroom we are much in the same mind as many Twitter users.

With the post retweeted around 4,000 times, many took to the social networking site claiming that it was badly judged and in “poor taste”.

It was only after two hours had elapsed that the embassy took to Twitter again, this time to apologise, saying:

“Apologies for earlier Tweet. We meant to mark an event in history & celebrate our strong friendship today.”

Although embarrassing for the embassy, it is unlikely to damager relations between the two countries too much. Only a couple of years ago, PM David Cameron and President Barack Obama joked about the incident in Washington.

Obama quipped to Cameron that the Redcoats had “really lit the place up”, with the UK premier hitting back saying that the White House was better defended today with the US “not taking any risks with the Brits this time”.

Steven Morris

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