Arsenal kit campaign backfires as Adidas accidentally tweets offensive images

Adidas has promised an investigation after some highly offensive messages were sent out via its Twitter account as part of a promotion for the new Arsenal kit.

The sportswear company asked social media users on Monday to like one of its tweets for the chance for their Twitter handle to appear on an image of the back of the new Gunners kit.

But some took advantage of the automated process by setting up accounts with highly offensive names and liking the tweet.

Images shared on Twitter show Adidas sharing images of Arsenal kits bearing names including @InnocentHitler, and another which makes an offensive reference to the Holocaust.

Others made reference to Madeleine McCann and the Hillsborough disaster.

An Adidas spokesman said: “As part of our partnership launch with Arsenal, we have been made aware of the abuse of a Twitter personalisation mechanic created to allow excited fans to get their name on the back of the new jersey.

“Due to a small minority creating offensive versions of this, we have immediately turned off the functionality and the Twitter team will be investigating.”

All tweets associated with the promotion have since been deleted.

An Arsenal spokesman said: “We totally condemn the use of language of this nature, which has no place in our game or society.

“We work hard as a club to encourage diversity and inclusion through our Arsenal for Everyone programme, launched in 2008 as a celebration of the diversity of the Arsenal family.

“Through a number of initiatives undertaken in the community, inside Emirates Stadium and throughout the club, Arsenal strives to ensure that everyone associated with the club feels an equal sense of belonging.”

This is not the first time a brand has got into a difficult situation by allowing the public to personalise content via Twitter.

Images of Gary Lineker that were inadvertently created as part of a Walkers promotion
Faces tweeted by Walkers included serial killer Dr Harold Shipman, Joseph Stalin, Jimmy Savile, footballer and convicted sex offender Adam Johnson and serial killer Fred West (PA)

Back in 2017, a Walkers promotion which invited social media users to submit selfies for a chance to win Champions League final tickets led to the crisp manufacturer tweeting out videos of Gary Lineker holding up images of people including Fred West and Jimmy Savile.

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