Kellogg's has been forced to apologise after offering to exchange retweets for breakfasts for vulnerable children.
The cereal manufacturer posted “1RT=1 breakfast for a vulnerable child” on Friday as part of its Give a Child a Breakfast campaign.
The message was immediately attacked for cynically trying to squeeze advertising from starving children.
Human rights lawyer Adam Wagner tweeted “Please note @KelloggsUK: 1 RT = 1 RT. 1 RT does not equal breakfast for anyone, vulnerable or otherwise.”
@OwensDamien tweeted “For @KelloggsUK, breakfast is the most important blackmail of the day.”
Twitter user @cluedont posted “Snap, Crackle and Pop. That's the sound of the @KelloggsUK social media manager's bones being rearranged by their boss this morning”
Another said “Disgusting use of social media from @KelloggsUK. Holding food for vulnerable to ransom.”
I think @KelloggsUK may be slightly overestimating the power of a retweet...— Adam Wagner (@AdamWagner1) November 10, 2013
Looks like the PR person from British Gas isn't having a good time in their new job at @KelloggsUK— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) November 10, 2013
Kellogg's have since deleted the tweet and posted instead: “We want to apologise for the recent tweet, wrong use of words. It's deleted. We give funding to school breakfast clubs in vulnerable areas.”
However some were still angry at the cereal giant, with @ The_No_Show replying “@KelloggsUK Not “wrong use of words”, you said exactly what you meant to say. It was just a lousy social marketing plan.”
Indeed, it appears to be one employed by the company as a matter of course, with a post on 5 November reading “RT to #GiveAChildABreakfast. Breakfast clubs are fun and help kids get their breakfast so they can focus in class”
RT to #GiveAChildABreakfast. Breakfast clubs are fun and help kids get their breakfast so they can focus in class— Kellogg's UK (@KelloggsUK) November 5, 2013
They also posted earlier in September “1 RT = 1 breakfast. Donate a breakfast to a child in need through our #GiveAChildABreakfast campaign: http://bit.ly/GACAB13 “