Paul from British Gas has a rough day for seemingly heartfelt David Bowie tribute tweet

Negative tweets directed at Paul from British Gas

Running a brand’s social media account can be a tough ask. Staff are tasked with maximising engagement and being interesting and all while retaining an air of professionalism.

The ‘British Gas Help account’, which consistently retains a personal touch from staffers, came under scrutiny after sending a tweet featuring #RipDB, the hashtag marking a year since David Bowie’s death. The tweet read as follows.

At the time of publishing, it sits at the top of the #RipDB hashtag on Twitter, above even Sky News' tribute, following a mid-sized yet unsettling personal backlash against the brand's customer support account.

British Gas was accused of hijacking the anniversary of Bowie's death by some “offended” users, with one tweeting: “Why is one of your colleagues hijacking someone's death? I don't quite see the connection!!!”

Another said: “A really brazen attempt to hijack a Hashtag that has nothing to do with your business. Paul - you should be ashamed.”

Staffer Laura (not Paul who was assumedly in hiding) used the account to explain that the team often makes references to the current events.

While Paul became the centre of a debate, he wasn’t without his fans, with some people tweeting support.

Once things settled down, Paul issued a statement marking his absolute respect and reverence for David Bowie.

Some people were unaffected by the post but made sure to correct "How time flys" instead.

The Drum has reached out to Paul to see how he's handling the crisis PR incident.

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