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Snickers comparing Welsh language to ‘sitting on keyboard’ on list of 2020’s worst marketing fails

12 Dec 2020 3 minute read
Snickers picture by Bodo (CC BY 2.0).

Snickers has been included on a list of the worst marketing fails of 2020 after a jibe about the Welsh language.

The chocolate brand came under fire when its Twitter account suggested the Welsh language read as if “someone sat on a keyboard”.

Their blunder was included as an example of what not to do in an article called ‘The worst marketing fails of 2020: Gin bombs, poor-taste workouts and Snickers offends Wales’ on Net Imperative.

The article also included Bristol Gin suggesting it was favoured by rioters due to its flammability during the Black Lives Matter protests, and a branch of PureGym advertising a ’12 Years of Slave’ workout to mark Black History Month.

The article said: “As 2020 (thankfully) draws to a close, we look at some of the biggest marketing mistakes of the year.

“From Snickers’ Welsh language blunder to a slave-based gym workout, there were plenty of errors from companies that should know better. Read on, learn from the mistakes and hope your team doesn’t make the list in 2021.”

The message posted by Snickers UK

The Snickers UK Twitter account tweeted out: “A place in Wales or someone sat on a keyboard?” It then tweeted out Welsh place names including Penmaenmawr and the incorrectly spelt ‘Rhosullanrugog’.

According to the article, after being criticised on social media “Snickers then proceeded to make things even worse by making a joke of it rather than apologise.”



One customer advised them to “rethink this – there are three million of us that you’re about to lose as customers”.

Elfyn Henderson asked: “Not targetting the Welsh market then?”

Adam Davis also replied: “Get rid of whoever thought this was a good idea. They’re a moron.”

The tweets were published just before 12pm and then quickly deleted, and an apology was eventually published at 2am.

The apology read: “From everyone at Snickers UK we’re sorry to everyone offended by our last tweet, we totally misjudged it and hold our hands up for that.

“We are hugely and wholeheartedly thankful for all our Welsh fans in the UK and all over the world and promise not to let ill-informed Tweets ruin this relationship any further.”

The Snickers UK account had earlier posted a reply in response to one of the complaints saying: “We were feeling a little hungry at the time. Of course, we love the Welsh. Lunchtime couldn’t come sooner for us.”

They replied to another user with: “We clearly weren’t acting ourselves on this one.”

Cerith D. Rhys Jones replied by saying: “Don’t make a joke out of it. It may seem little to you but we get this sort of thing all the time.

“I’m currently also hungry but I don’t go around doing stupid and offensive stuff like this. Apologise.”

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