- Dutch airline KLM quickly learned over the weekend it should be careful with real-time marketing attempts -- particularly when they surround racial issues.
- KLM took to Twitter moments after the Netherlands knocked Mexico out of the tournament with a tweet that read "Adios Amigos!! #NEDMEX" and showed a Photoshop-ed sign with a sombrero-wearing icon (the tweet, with a new photo, is below).
- Mexico fans were immediately offended -- and probably already wound up from the loss -- and took to Twitter to air their anger. KLM immediately removed the tweet and apologized, but not before it was retweeted more than 10,000 times.
This KLM tweet is a perfect example of how real time marketing can go horribly wrong. The knee-jerk reaction is the nature of the beast and unfortunately KLM made a very misguided decision in this case. From an outsider, it seems quite obvious that you wouldn't use a sombrero and mustache wearing character to represent Mexican culture. When you are working quickly though, sometimes those checks and balances aren't in place to stop people from making bad decisions. KLM has certainly learned its lesson.