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10 social media fails of 2012: McDonalds, FemFresh and Waitrose

As 2012 comes to a close, we reminisce of ten social media fails of the past year. These are the ones that stood out for us: if there are any others that think were lowlights of the year, let us know!


Femfresh came under abuse on Facebook for its use of euphemisms for the word ‘vagina’, instead referring to the area as a ‘froo-froo’.Instead of dealing with the complaints, Femfresh decided to sweep the whole issue under the carpet and suspend the Facebook page.


The stocking of unicorn food and gold thread toilet paper are just two reasons that people shop at Waitrose, a Twitter campaign by the upmarket supermarket brand found out this year.The retailer tweeted ‘Finish the sentence: "I shop at Waitrose because ________." #WaitroseReasons’ and received such replies as ‘I shop at Waitrose because I was once in the Holloway Rd branch and heard a dad say "Put the papaya down, Orlando!"’.It certainly did raise awareness of Waitrose…but maybe not in the way it was hoped.


When America began tweeting about the Aurora cinema massacre, it was not unexpected that #Aurora began to trend.However, British fashion site Celebboutique caused a twitter storm when it blithely tweeted ‘#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress;)’The company later apologised, stating is ‘was not aware of the situation in the USA at the time’.


A bad taste was left in the mouth of fast food restaurant McDonalds, as its #McDStories hashtag did not go down well.Tweets in response were not quite what McDonalds hoped, with one reading “I used to like McDonalds. I stopped eating McDonalds years ago because every time I ate it I felt like I was dying inside.”

Susan Boyle

Possibly the funniest hashtag fail of the year was made by Susan Boyle’s management. In promoting her new album, they used the tag #susanalbumparty.Innocent cock-up (snigger) or deliberate publicity stunt? Either way, it certainly rose awareness of the singer’s new album.

American Apparel

What to do during a superstorm? Sell some clothes, of course! That was what several retailers came up with…including American Apparel and Gap.American Apparel suggested it would be a good time for those ‘bored during the storm’ to do some shopping.The idea didn’t go down well.

Co-operative Food

What better way to spice up an account on food than to post a picture of a topless man?The Co-operative Food has said they did not post the photo, which they removed in a hurry.They did, however, handle the replies quite well.

Kitchen Aid

It was a case of multiple accounts as KitchenAid accidentally sent out a tweet from the company account, instead of from the tweeter’s personal account.The tweet “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president,’ #nbcpolitics” was sent from the brand, then quickly deleted.


The fans of celebs such as Katie Price and Rio Ferdinand were confused when a Snickers campaign saw the pair send unusual tweets.Ferdinand tweeted about knitting, saying ‘Really getting into knitting!!! Helps me relax after high-pressure world of the Premiership’ while Katie Price discussed Eurozone policies.However, the campaign was then investigated by the ASA, after complaints that the tweets were not identified as adverts. The complaints were then cleared.


Toyota came up with ten accounts to promote the Toyota Camry through a Super Bowl related hashtag.However, the accounts spammed tweeters, and led to Toyota shutting down the campaign after a few days.