The Rio Report

Funny or offensive? Airline issues ‘heartfelt apology’ for Mexico joke

The Rio Report

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Oh dear. Why do big companies attempt to be funny in social media posts when there are so many people out there who could potentially be offended?

Dutch airline KLM bore the brunt of a Twitter backlash after an attempt at humour offended Mexican football fans.

Offensive and obnoxious? Debatable. Very tactless and clumsy? Certainly.

The airline tweeted a picture of an airport departures sign with the heading "Adios Amigos!" with a silhouette of a man with a moustache and a sombrero after Mexico's 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands.

A copy of said tweet can be seen below:

While clearly an attempt at humour or banter, many did not find it funny.

Still, not everyone was offended.

Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal also tweeted to tell his two million-plus followers that he would never fly with the carrier again while hundreds of other people complained.

"It was meant to be a joke but there was too much negative reaction," said KLM spokeswoman Lisette Ebeling Koning.

Koning added that the airline never intended to offend Mexicans, which it serves via a daily flight between Mexico City and Amsterdam.

After a stream of complaints over said tweet, it was deleted approximately an hour later.

[BOOKMAKER FLOATS CHRIST THE REDEEMER BALLOON OVER CITY]

[COMPANY PROVOKES BRAZIL FURY WITH STUNT, BUT HAS LAST LAUGH]

While KLM did not tweet an apology, but they released a formal apology later on Sunday.

"In the best of sportsmanship, we offer our heartfelt apologies to those who have been offended by the comment," said Marnix Fruitema, director general of KLM in North America.

Mexican national carrier AeroMexico broadcast its own response on Twitter in support of the country's football team under an arrivals sign.

"Thank you for this great championship," it said. "You've made us proud and we're waiting for you at home."

Okay, so that response was significantly less interesting and funny, but it was considerably safer. KLM bosses will no doubt. encourage that kind of bland post in future.

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(H/T Dirty Tackle)

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