Coffee-maker Starbucks was accused of being “clueless” after posting a tweet to its 2,030 Irish customers asking them for feedback on what makes them proud to be British.
The tweet from @StarbucksIE, which was sent as part of the firm's Jubliee PR campaign, read: “Happy hour is on! Show us what makes you proud to be British for a chance to win.”
The posting, which appeared to highlight a somewhat poor understanding of basic geography, prompted a furious reaction from some Irish users, with Father Ted writer Graham Linehan angrily describing Starbucks staff as “clueless pricks”.
Another user, Fergus McNally, threatened to boycott Starbucks unless it apologised.
He tweeted: “@StarbucksIE the ie stands for Ireland, awaiting the apology before I visit your stores again!!”
In a bid to smooth things over Starbucks later tweeted : “We erroneously posted to our Irish Twitter page meaning to post to the UK only. Customers in Ireland: We're sorry.”
It also issued a statement that said: “First and foremost we apologise to our Irish customers for the mistake made on Twitter yesterday afternoon. The Tweet, which was only meant to be sent to our British Twitter followers as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, was erroneously posted to our Irish Twitter page.
“We apologise to all our customers and followers on Twitter in Ireland and hope that they will forgive our mistake.”
However, a few users firmly believe that the whole thing was a storm in a coffee cup, with Killian Byrne suggesting that “People need to get over the @StarbucksIEthing”.
He added: “So someone pressed the wrong button, who cares.”
Starbucks, meanwhile, isn’t the only company to have made a Twitter gaffe.
Last year a tweet appeared on the account of US car-maker Chrysler that, in the parlance of Twitter users, dropped the F-bomb.
It read: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f****** drive.”
It turned out that the running of the page had been outsourced to a PR company, which quickly found itself with one less employee.