Adidas investigating after company shares racist and anti-Semitic tweets
Adidas has subsequently taken down an automated promotional campaign for its new Arsenal shirt after it was hi-jacked by Twitter trolls.
Adidas has said it is carrying out an investigation after a Twitter campaign to promote its new Arsenal kit was inadvertently used to send racist and anti-Semitic messages to its followers.
The ad campaign allowed users to have their Twitter handle generated onto an image of the back of the new shirt by sharing or liking the promotional tweet. Adidas UK then shared the personalised images to their 832,000 followers.
The controversial issue arose when some users changed their handles to offensive phrases such as “@GasAllJews” and “@Innocent Hitler”, which lead Adidas UK to tweet messages like: “@GasAllJews This is home. Welcome to the squad.”
Adidas has since removed the tweets while many of the Twitter users who used the campaign to send abusive messages have subsequently been suspended.
"As part of our partnership launch with Arsenal we have been made aware of the abuse of a Twitter personalization mechanic created to allow excited fans to get their name on the back of the new jersey,” the sports apparel maker said in a statement provided to several news outlets.
“Due to a small minority creating offensive versions of this we have immediately turned off the functionality and the Twitter team will be investigating.”
As CNN has reported, this is not the first time such an automated ad campaign has been hijacked by trolls on Twitter.
A similar campaign run by New England Patriots in 2014 also led to offensive names being generated on the back of the NFL team's shirt.