- (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)
The social media team at Starbucks Ireland inadvertently offended many of their Irish customers on Tuesday with a Twitter message.
"Happy hour is on us," StarbucksIE tweeted. "Show us what makes you proud to be British for a chance to win. Don't forget to tag #MyFrappuccino"
Seemingly innocent, the message suggested that the Republic of Ireland belongs to the United Kingdom, and many Irish followers became outraged.
In 1921, Ireland formally separated from the U.K. after vicious battles during a war for independence that killed thousands, including civilians.
Instantly, Twitter was flooded with outraged messages from users who were offended by the post.
"@StarbucksIE you are clueless ---- and your coffee tastes like baby formula," wrote Graham.
"Show @StarbucksIE how you're proud to be Irish by going to a locally-owned cafe instead. #MyFrappucino #myhoop" wrote Philip.
Niamh wrote, "Hey @StarbucksIE we'll forgive you if you rename your Frappachino to Trappachino for the duration of #Euro2012"
Twitter user Jim was not as angry as most.
"I'm not upset at @StarBucksIE calling us British… I'm more upset at using the phrase 'Happy Hour' without alcohol being involved :)"
The Seattle-based company that prides itself on providing "a full and rewarding coffeehouse experience" according to their website issued an apology via Twitter.
"We erroneously posted to our Irish Twitter page meaning to the to the UK only. Customers in Ireland: We're sorry," wrote StarbucksIE.
Although the incident seems to have lost steam, Twitter users were still posting about the mistaken tweet on Thursday. While @StarbucksIE and @StarbucksUK indicate in their bios that they are based in Ireland and London, respectively, their accounts are nearly identical.
Starbucks is a multi-million dollar coffee company with over 19,500 stores in 58 countries. In addition to selling espresso-based drinks, Starbucks sells drip-brewed coffee, salads, sandwiches, pastries, snacks, and several other items such as coffee beans, mugs, and tumblers.