KLM has shown the World how NOT to use social media by offending Mexico over its World Cup loss to Holland.
The Dutch airline posted a picture of an airport departures sign with the heading ‘Adios Amigos’. The picture also had a sombrero, moustache and serape blanket.
The picture was posted after the Netherlands’ 2-1 win over Mexico and removed by the airline half an hour later, after Twitter fury.
The Hollywood actor Gael García Bernal launched a foul-mouthed Twitter attack on KLM.
The A-list star wrote: “I’m never flying your shitty airline again. F— you big time” .
The tweet immediately went viral under the hashtag #mexicogate. Mr Bernal expressed the outrage of millions of Mexicans when he sent the furious message to his two million followers.
“It was meant to be a joke,” said KLM’s spokeswoman Lisette Ebeling Koning, adding that the airline never intended to offend Mexicans, which it serves via a daily direct flight between Mexico City and Amsterdam. “But there was too much negative reaction.”
AeroMexico, the country’s national airline, has hit back on Twitter, offering its support for Mexico’s players after the 2-1 defeat in the last 16 under an arrivals sign. “Thank you for this great championship,” its message said. “You’ve made us proud and we’re waiting for you at home.”
Airlines are quite keen on using social media and KLM have actually been at the forefront with extensive use of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Just over a week ago, Delta Airlines was also caught in social media storm during the World Cup when it posted a tweet that also stereotyped the losing nation of a match (in that case, Ghana, following its defeat to the US).
A congratulatory message to the United States men’s soccer team backfired as Twitter users pointed out that giraffes do not live in the African nation. The tweet was deleted after claims it was racist and ignorant, and Delta Airlines later apologized.
In a statement on its website, Delta said that the tweet “was both inaccurate and inappropriate.”
Delta, which has nearly 690,000 followers on Twitter, said that it is reviewing its procedures “to ensure that future images and posts reflect both our values and our global focus.” A spokeswoman said that no one had gotten in trouble for the tweet.
According to its website, Delta flies to Accra, Ghana, from Kennedy Airport in New York.