The London Dungeon has been forced to apologise after a social media campaign to promote the attraction was branded “sexist”.
The attraction posted quotes on both its Facebook and Twitter account referencing sexual acts and murder as part of a ‘Dark Valentine’s Day’ marketing ploy that managed to shock people in all the wrong ways.
Some posts referenced the museum’s murderous muse, one reading: “Jack The Ripper just messaged. He wants to Netflix and kill.”
While others seemed to focus on violence against women: “What’s the difference between your job and a dead prostitute? Your job still sucks.”
The East End Women’s Museum was among those to blast the Dungeon’s marketing campaign.
Co-founder Sarah Jackson told The Guardian: “Violence against women hasn’t gone the way of gaslights and top hats, far from it. Marketing campaigns like these trivialise the very real violence that sex workers experience, and reinforce stigma which puts them in danger.
“The Ripper tourist trade has been making money from the reputation of a misogynist serial killer for far too long – I hope the response to this misjudged campaign makes the London Dungeon and others think twice.”
Other controversial posts sent from the attraction’s social media account included: “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’ve got genital warts, soon you will too” and “Wow, you should really wear makeup more often”.
Another post - “Did you fall from heaven? Because it looks like you landed on your face” - was criticised by a charity that supports people with facial and other disfigurements.
Dr James Partridge, chief executive of Changing Faces, said: “1 in 111 people in the UK have a severe facial disfigurement. Are these people and their families not welcome at The London Dungeon? Because that seems like a very odd approach to marketing...
“People who have disfigurements experience staring, name-calling and worse every day and when companies like this join in, it makes daily lives even more difficult.”
After the backlash, the London Dungeon’s Twitter account posted an apology, with the words “we’re sorry” emblazoned in the same fashion as it’s controversial campaign.
The company issued a longer apology to the press that read:
“We apologise that our social posts caused offence.
“Our ‘Dark Valentine’ campaign was a range of posts aimed to highlight the darker side of history and create debate and conversation.
“As a brand we strive to entertain our guests so they can enjoy the London Dungeon experience – both in our attraction and on social media.
“However on this occasion we recognise that some of the topics many felt were inappropriate and therefore we apologise for any offence cause.”
But it still failed to satisfy some Twitter users.