Wondering if there’s a limit to holiday-related marketing that’s on the
edgy side? The London Dungeon recently learned the answer: Yes.
The London-based attraction, which takes tourists through a dark show of
the city’s history with a bevy of actors and actresses, struck out on
social media yesterday with its different approach to Valentine’s Day
While most organizations were sticking to posts with themes such as hearts
and flowers, London Dungeon’s social media team decided to go the opposite
direction on its Facebook page:
Other posts included retorts such as:
“You have such a pretty face.” Female translation: You have a terrible
I got 99 problems, but a witch ain’t one of them.
It didn’t take long for social media users to lash out at the risqué
marketing strategy, and the backlash grew after screenshots circulated on
Those who weren’t offended by the posts shared confusion over the relation
to London Dungeon’s jokes and its tourism offering.
Awful taste and lack of humour aside, the most confusing thing about all of
this is what exactly it all had to do with the London Dungeon experience.
Did Henry VIII go about calling women good eaters?
Is cat-fishing a historical phenomenon?
Social media users weren’t the only ones to speak out against the posts.
Keep your cool in a crisis with these tips.]
Ann Summers—an adult store that partnered with London Dungeon for a
Valentine’s Day event related to the release of “Fifty Shades Darker”—said
the posts were inappropriate.
“It is really disappointing to see tweets which are overtly sexist and
negative towards women—attitudes we absolutely do not tolerate—or
support—at Ann Summers,” the company told Metro.
Changing Faces—a nonprofit organization supporting people with
disfigurements—told UK News in Pictures:
1 in 111 people in the UK have a severe facial disfigurement. Are these
people and their families not welcome at the London Dungeon? Because that
seems like a very odd approach to marketing. To mock people who have an
unusual appearance is not acceptable, and we want the London Dungeon to
remove the tweet and to publicly apologise for the upset they have caused.
People who have disfigurements experience staring, name-calling and worse
every day and when companies like this join in, it makes daily lives even
London Dungeon deleted the posts, and on Wednesday it tweeted an apology:
It posted the same apology on
its Facebook page. Though several Facebook fans rallied behind the organization, others said
the apology was lacking:
London Dungeon also told Metro the following:
“We apologise that our social posts caused offence. Our ‘Dark Valentine’
campaign was a range of posts aimed to highlight the darker side of history
and create debate and conversation.
“As a brand, we strive to entertain our guests so they can enjoy the London
Dungeon experience—both in our attraction and on social media. However, on
this occasion, we recognise that some of the topics many felt were
inappropriate and something that is consigned to the history books,
therefore we apologise for any offence caused.”