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Dutch airline crosses the line after Twitter foul

Flag carrying airline of the Netherlands KLM has landed itself in hot water, after an official social account missive poked fun at the Mexican football team following their defeat to Holland in the World Cup.

After a strong performance, Mexico  succumbed 2-1 to the Dutch in the heat of Fortaleza. Managing to hold their 1-0 lead until the 88th minute, Mexican hearts were broken after a 94th minute penalty was converted.

Within moments of the final whistle, the official Twitter account for KLM tweeted a picture of an airport departure sign, with the accompanying text:

“Adios Amigos #NEDMEX”

Compounding the issue, an image of a man dressed in a sombrero and sporting a moustache was next to the departures sign.

Unsurprisingly, the post was immediately picked up and went viral, despite being quickly removed by the aeroplane operator, with spokeswoman Lisette Ebeling Koning stating:

“It was meant to be a joke but there was too much negative reaction.”

One such criticism came from Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal who, retweeting the post to his two million-plus followers, said that he would never fly KLM again.

An official apology was released by the firm late on last Sunday night, but the tweet from Mexico’s national carrier AeroMexico in response did not rise to the bait, simply stating:

“Thank you for this great championship. You’ve made us proud and we’re waiting for you at home.”

While the carrier’s misfire may not be too surprising, we at Pressroom are perplexed by the regularity that large firms make such mistakes when using social.

As one of the most important channels to engage with customers and raise brand awareness, it is imperative that every post be checked and checked again, particularly when the content is deemed as being funny. One person’s joke is another’s insult, after all.

Steven Morris

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