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Marketing Walkers Champions League

Walkers apologises after Champions League Twitter campaign is hijacked to feature Rolf Harris and Fred West


By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

May 25, 2017 | 4 min read

Walkers is the latest brand to fall foul of the pitfalls of customisation after putting trust in the public to submit photos as part of its Champions League campaign.


Walkers apologises after Rolf Harris and Fred West feature in customised Champions League campaign

Twitter users have hijacked the brand's 'Walkers Wave' campaign, causing the snackmaker to inadvertently feature Rolf Harris, Stalin, serial killer Fred West and convicted criminal Joseph Frtizel in its ads.


The official UEFA Champion's League sponsor had unveiled the 'Walkers Wave' push earlier this week, asking users to submit selfies which would then be shown on-screen waving in support alongside ambassador and pundit Gary Lineker.

Through the use of social media integration, the push promised to unite fans ahead of the Real Madrid and Juventus final, and use augmented reality to make it look like fans were in Cardiff's National Stadium of Wales for the big game.

In an unfortunate turn of events, Twitter trolls decided to submit photos featuring all manner of unsavoury characters and criminals, including the 'Yorkshire Ripper' Peter Sutcliffe and Harold Shipman.

Walkers said in a statement: "We recognise people were offended by irresponsible and offensive posts by individuals, and we apologise. We are equally upset and have shut down all activity."


Some followers were quick to react, but at the time of writing the brand had yet to delete a number of the most offensive tweets.

A separate part of the campaign currently comprises a pop-up ‘dug out’ on Queen Street in Cardiff, inviting fans and two of their friends can sit down, wait for the countdown from Walkers’ long-standing ambassador Gary Lineker before standing up to wave.

The wave is being projected on the digital billboard opposite the dug out, with the brand encouraging participants to instantly share their part in the #WalkersWave across their social channels.

Walkers isn't the first brand to regret putting trust in the public, last year Coca-Cola's 'GIF the Feeling' project was hijacked by Tumblr users, while the Natural Environment Research Council's (Nerc) found out the hard way not to trust the public thanks to its #NameOurShip campaign.

Marketing Walkers Champions League

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