FC Bayern Munich angers fans with 'new signing' social media stunt
German football giant FC Bayern Munich has scored a PR own goal with its latest social media stunt.
The Bundesliga leaders had teased supporters by promising that a "bomb" striker would be signing for the club this afternoon. "There will be a spectacular signing for the attack," sporting director Christian Nerlinger had said on the official Bayern website.
Excited fans were told that the identity of their new star player would be unveiled at a press conference broadcast on Facebook at 1pm GMT. All they had to do was 'like' the club to gain access.
They tuned in to find Nerlinger hosting a realistic-looking press conference. But when the moment came to do the big reveal, Nerlinger turned around a piece of paper showing the profile picture of the Facebook user watching the video.
The hoax has not gone down well with Bayern fans, who have expressed their displeasure on Facebook and Twitter. The club's name was even trending in the UK this afternoon as news of the stunt spread.
Matt Fortune, the Daily Mail's world football blogger, tweeted: "The only workplace worse to be in at the moment than Tom Watson's, is the Bayern Munich social media office."
And German football journalist Raphael Honigstein wrote on Twitter: "I don't see how that's funny or clever. (but then I'm German)." He later added: "Bayern supporters on facebook less than amused. #massivefail."
Bayern released a statement this afternoon to placate the angry fans. It said: "Dear fans, of course you've all noticed it already: The video of the press conferen wasn't completely serious, but a little fun for our fans on Facebook, where our fans are the focus.
"Every single FCB fan is the 'spectacular new signing,' our 12th man!"