... So that You may be kept informed

UK: British furniture store apologises over Iran tweets

25 Jun 2009 2:12 AM

LONDON, June 24, AFP - A British-based furniture chain apologised Wednesday after keywords relating to the current unrest in Iran appeared in Twitter messages promoting offers in its shops.

Twitter, a leading internet microblogging site, has been a key way for protesters against the disputed reelection of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to make their voices heard around the world amid a media clampdown.

Commentators said the move could have been a way of trying to get more people to read the messages, or tweets, from Habitat.

One of the messages read: "HabitatUK: MOUSAVI Join the database for free to win a 1,000 gift card." Mir Hossein Mousavi was one of the defeated candidates in the poll.

Habitat has now offered "a very sincere apology to any users who were offended by last week's activity on Twitter".

"This was absolutely not authorised by Habitat," the furniture retailer added in a statement. "We were shocked when we discovered what happened and are very sorry for the offence that has been caused."

The content has since been removed but news of the story has spread on Twitter, provoking a wave of critical comments from users.

One described it as: "A great example of how not to use a real time media to promote your brand".