Walkers Crisps has pulled an interactive video ad after it allowed the faces of mass murderers and child abusers submitted by internet pranksters.
The faces of Rolf Harris, Fred West and Jimmy Savile and were inadvertently featured in an animation voiced by Gary Lineker after Walkers Crisps encouraged Twitter users to send in selfies.
The official Walkers Crisps Twitter account was offering football fans the chance to win Champions League final tickets by tweeting in a selfie along with the hashtag #WalkersWave.
In a video replying to those who have sent in the “selfies”, Lineker says: “Thanks for joining the Walkers wave and celebrating the Uefa Champions League final.”
He then pauses, looks at the photo which appears in a photo frame he is holding and remarks to the camera: “Nice selfie.”
The photo then appears superimposed on to the head of a football fan taking part in a Mexican wave at the national stadium of Wales.
The hashtag for the campaign has been one of the top trending topics throughout the afternoon, but presumably not for the reasons the company had hoped.
— Brandwatch React (@BW_React) 25 May 2017
Many of the bad-taste images remained on Walkers timeline for more than an hour, although the account has since been removing some of them.
"Are you sure automated tweets are the way to go?"
"yes, people are sensible and will definitely not abuse it" pic.twitter.com/bZt9mDwZxi
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) 25 May 2017
A Walkers spokeswoman said: “We recognise people were offended by irresponsible and offensive posts by individuals, and we apologise. We are equally upset and have shut down all activity.”
Somewhere in a meeting room #WalkersWave social media team is desperately claiming there is no such thing as bad publicity. 😂
— Steve Maddocks (@rantin_scot) 25 May 2017
Lineker posted a tweet following the uproar: “Had an unusual day in some very strange company. I’m sure we’ll wave goodbye to them all by tomorrow.”