Publisher Random House has triggered a social media storm after hijacking the #LestWeForget hashtag with a marketing message.
The tweet was published at 11am EST to coincide with the minute’s Armistice Day silence held to remember Australia’s war dead.
Random House tweeted: “In honour of our fallen heroes we’re giving away a selection of war books. RT & follow us to enter! #LestWeForget”.
However, the tweet quickly drew a backlash, with other Twitter users accusing it of “sleazy” marketing efforts.
Random House head of publicity Karen Reid is listed as the owner of the publisher’s Twitter account.
Random House has so far not responded to the growing anger on Twitter about the tweet. It is possible that the message was set up before the weekend under timed release and that publisher was not monitoring the reaction to the tweet on Sunday afternoon.
At the time of posting, Random House had not responded to Mumbrella’s request for comment.
November 12 update: Random House has now removed the tweet and apologised:
Brett Osmond, the publisher’s ANZ marketing and publicity director told Mumbrella: “We did not mean to be disrespectful in any way and we have apologised for any offence that may have been caused. This morning I have taken the opportunity to discuss the use of social media with my team and the appropriateness or not of certain tactics.
“We are proud to publish, both in fiction and non-fiction, some truly great books telling the stories of our war heroes, but recognise that this was not conveyed in our tweet.”