I can think of few worse PR gaffes for a travel company. To advertise a break in Portugal, using the face of missing toddler Madeleine McCann, is a monumental cock-up. That it was advertising a £20 coupon for said holiday makes it that little bit more crass.
How this has happened is not clear. Genuine mistake? Sick joke? Hacking? Whatever the reason it has prompted an angry response from the McCann family, who have branded it offensive and a disgrace.
I’m inclined to agree.
Low Cost Holidays, who own the trip, have denied any working relationship with the discount company VoucherDigg, who advertised the coupon. VoucherDigg themselves have declined to comment. One has to assume their crisis comms people are going into overdrive.
One word: #fail.