Starbucks had a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #spreadthecheer to promote itself during the holidays.
People used the hashtag to bash Starbucks for how it dealt with its taxes in the U.K., and touted local coffeeshops instead of the coffee cafe mammoth.
And, unfortunately for Starbucks, the tweets were being projected on a big screen at London's Natural History Museum, because the company was sponsoring the Christmas ice rink at the venue.
It was pretty embarrassing.
The tweets were mostly like this one, with varying levels of profanity:December 16, 2012
“We apologize to any visitors who may have been offended by inappropriate messages displayed on the Twitter wall screen at the Natural History Museum’s ice rink café on Sunday. This was due to a temporary malfunction with the content filtering system. As a family-friendly, responsible company we are committed to ensuring that our publicly displayed content is appropriate for all audiences and profanity filters have been in constant operation since the ice rink opened in November. We will continue to work closely with the twitter wall moderator to ensure that all content is consistently reviewed before published.”
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