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Faux pas #hashtags - 5 of the best

Hayley Smith
14th March 2018

Just a myriad of hashtag disasters that have littered recent memory…

You can’t have escaped the hubbub surrounding Dorothy Perkins’s hashtag faux pas last week.

The now infamous #LoveDP was either a PR apocalypse, or a canny way of putting Dorothy Perkins right at the heart of social conversation.

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Either way, it got me thinking about the myriad hashtag disasters that have littered recent memory, and inspired me to round up just a few of my favourites…

1. #Askacop

In December 2014, CNN followed up a pair of documentaries about alleged Police malpractice with the #askacop, meaning viewers could ask their burning questions and get a response from a genuine Police officer. Innocent enough, you might imagine, and in the spirit of openness and transparency of the day.

However, Twitter is a ruthless duchess and pounced on #askacop… with predictable results.

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These are just some of the more light-hearted responses, but here’s a round-up of some of the more controversial examples.

2. #McDStories

Cast your mind back to early 2012. In modern terms, it was the dawn of the internet. Almost. McDonalds, the undisputed king of fast food (Burger King excepted), decided in maverick fashion to court its patrons’ stories using the #McDstories. What could go wrong?

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3. #Cairo

Ok, so not a branded PR and marketing campaign so much as a hashtag that was being used to shed light on the terrifying crisis in Egypt. Filled with stories of terrifying ordeals and shedding global light on a crisis being hushed by the administration, #cairo was a vital lifeline for those caught up in the atrocities. Cometh the hour, cometh Kenneth Cole, brushing aside geographical borders and fighting the good fight of commerce for the bloodied, broken people of Cairo. Take a bow, Kenneth…

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5. #susanalbumparty

No round up of tragic hashtag misadventure would be complete without the quintessential, the classic #susanalbumparty. Susan Boyles’s PR team has a lot to answer for.

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Yes it was swiftly corrected to #SusanBoyleAlbumParty – note the use of caps to emphasise the intended meaning – but the damage was already done…

And finally, the stuff of legends, but ultimately, just that. A myth. A legend. But cracking anyway…

BONUS: #CLitFest…

Did the organisers of Chester Literary Festival 2014 have tongues firmly pressed into their cheeks when they launched their hashtag?

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