'General hand job' advertised by Tavistock council

Embarrassment at council's over job advert gaffe

Updated: 
LISBON - DECEMBER 20, 2013: Photo of Facebook homepage on a monitor screen through a magnifying glass.

There are likely to be some red faces in the social media department at Tavistock Town Council today, after it emerged that they had Facebooked the availability of a 'General Hand job' at the council.

The advert went on to explain that this was a full-time job, paying £13-£14,000 a week, and offering some flexibility.


The Plymouth Herald reported that the advert was posted on the council's Facebook page, but after attracting a number of comments, it was changed to advertise a 'General Hand Level 1 Job vacancy'. The Independent reported that the role simply involves setting up the Town Hall and Pannier Market for events, and clearing away afterwards - with some property and ground maintenance.

Below is a screengrab from the council's Facebook page, which shows the initial erroneous/humorous post, followed by the more work suitable edit.



The response to the gaffe on social media was immediate, with several sending a screengrab to one another as a potential job opportunity. One user Tweeted "Perks of the job for Tavistock Town Council seem a bit unusual".

Councillor John Sheldon was trying to look on the bright side. A few hours after the mistake he Tweeted: "Oh Well - It did go viral then. At least it brings #Tavistock some free publicity. Good Place to visit & take in independent retail therapy."

Marketing fails go viral

As social media fails go, it's embarrassing enough, but it's not quite of the level of French Make-up super-brand Sephora, which launched its first Australian store with the hashtag #countdowntobeauty. Unfortunately when it went online on Facebook, the first 'o' was missed out, leaving an altogether more x-rated hashtag.

In September, social media was enjoying a photograph of new vans painted to advertise the Pendennis Shipyard. Unfortunately nobody at the company had spotted that when the side door was open, a number of the letters in the middle of the word were obscured, so the sign read 'Penis'.

In April last year, the Wig and Pen in Truro gained international fame, when they decided to print a sign to highlight that the pub was still open, despite nearby building work. The sign read 'The wig and pen is open for business'. Unfortunately they didn't leave enough space between the word 'pen' and the word 'is', and the sign went viral.

However, there are times when these things have a happy ending. Last month, a rug in the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in Florida was removed, after a visitor noticed the image of the sheriff's badge printed on the rug featured the words 'in dog we trust'. They took a photo, and it went viral. The sheriff's office responded by auctioning the rug to raise money for a local animal rescue group

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