After battling to limit the fallout from revelations that Tesco had been selling burgers containing horsemeat, the firm's customer care team committed a small but crucial blunder when @UKTesco finished Thursday by tweeting: "It's sleepy time so we're off to hit the hay! See you at 8am for more." The resulting storm was quick in coming.
Among those castigating the company was @UKlifeGuide, which tweeted: "Dear @UKTesco, it's not really funny when you make the horse jokes. The joke is ON you! Wonder if you'll be laughing when getting sued?"
Others, perhaps fatigued by the avalanche of horse puns already circulating on social media, appeared more bemused than angry.
"'Hit the hay' I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE TESCO, I SEE IT," replied one user.
The customer care Twitter account issued an apology, telling those who complained: "I'm terribly sorry. That tweet was scheduled before we knew of the current situation. We'd never intend to make light of it."
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image: © Howard Lake