As America debated an attack on Syria, and the limits of military action, US designer and shoe tycoon Kenneth Cole chipped in with a tweet. “‘Boots on the ground’ or not,” he said, “let’s not forget about sandals, pumps and loafers.”
After a bunch of complaints, he explained to the Huffington Post that he was simply trying to, you know, provoke a debate. “It was to communicate a consistent message that we are against war of any sort and we support our troops,” he said.
Give him this at least: he’s been more appalling in the past.
Indeed, he makes it twice on to this list of 10 of the ickiest and most distasteful tweets, or, to give it an alternative title: 10 useful reminders for corporate social media managers.
1. A couple of weeks ago The Golf Channel knew just how to mark the anniversary of the famous Martin Luther King speech.
2. A typical sent-from-the-wrong-account snafu from the US Red Cross in 2011 (they apologised with good humour).
3. Here’s Kenneth Cole, part two, as mentioned above.
4. And Kenneth Cole, part one, tweeted at the height of the revolution in Egypt, as authorities were firing at demonstrators (later deleted).
5. The morning after the earthquake in northern Italy in May 2012, the online travel company Groupalia, which specialises in selling holiday packages, tweeted: “Afraid of the earthquake? Drop everything and run away to Santo Domingo.”
6. A pair of quintessential tweets of the moronic cash-in variety by the food website Epicurious shortly after the Boston bombings.
7. The manager of a London bottle-store was suspended for tweeting this, shortly after the death of Margaret Thatcher.
8. Well, actually, “Aurora” was trending because it was the Denver suburb where 12 people were killed in a cinema massacre (the company claimed later the tweeter did not know that).
9. This from South African Durex a couple of years ago is staggeringly stupid and offensive. They removed it and apologised fairly swiftly.
10. Someone at US kitchen appliance company KitchenAid thought it would be a good idea to tweet this, during a presidential debate. Again, deletion and apology followed fast.