Adidas UK is under fire following a botched social media campaign to reveal Arsenal's brand new home kits for the 2019-2020 season led to the company's account tweeting out racist and offensive remarks.
The brand's #DareToCreate campaign was designed to let fans of the English soccer club celebrate their favorite team's newest jerseys. They were encouraged to tweet using the hashtag. The tag would automatically create an image of the new Arsenal kit displaying the user's Twitter handle that could be shared on social media. The images were then tweeted out by the official Adidas UK Twitter account accompanied by the message, "This is home. Welcome to the squad," and a link to purchase the new jersey.
Unfortunately, this led to a handful of users with offensive handles referencing the Holocaust, Hitler, Madeline McCann, the Hillsborough disaster, and various racial slurs taking advantage of the campaign's auto-tweet feature. The names of these insensitive Twitter profiles were then tweeted out by Adidas UK.
These tweets have since been removed, the campaign has been halted, and Adidas UK has issued an official statement regarding the situation to The Guardian.
"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. Due to a small minority creating offensive versions of this we have immediately turned off the functionality and the Twitter team will be investigating."
Arsenal has also issued a statement of its own. "We totally condemn the use of language of this nature, which has no place in our game or society. We work hard as a club to encourage diversity and inclusion through our Arsenal for Everyone program, launched in 2008 as a celebration of the diversity of the Arsenal family. Through a number of initiatives undertaken in the community, inside Emirates Stadium and throughout the club, Arsenal strives to ensure that everyone associated with the club feels an equal sense of belonging."