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Crouch End Oddbins manager suspended for ‘inappropriate’ Champagne tweet following Baroness Thatcher’s death

20:26 08 April 2013

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died at the age of 87. Picture: PA

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died at the age of 87. Picture: PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The manager of the Crouch End branch of Oddbins wine merchants has been suspended today after provoking outrage by promoting discounted Champagne on Twitter soon after news broke of Baroness Thatcher’s death.

The Crouch End Oddbins store in Crouch Hill.The Crouch End Oddbins store in Crouch Hill.

A tweet appeared on the store’s account this lunchtime reading: “If for any reason anyone feels like celebrating anything we have Taittinger available at £10 less than usual at £29. Just saying...”

Despite no overt reference to the death of the former prime minister, the tweet was swiftly deleted and within hours Oddbins had suspended the store manager and issued an apology for the “completely inappropriate” missive.

But by then it had already done the rounds on the social media site, provoking disgust, disbelief and laughter by turns – as did news of the manager’s suspension.

A spokesman for Oddbins said: “The tweet in question was made by a member of branch staff without the approval or knowledge of the company’s management.

“The tweet was completely inappropriate and in the worst possible taste. We would like to apologise profusely for the offence it has quite rightly caused.

“The member of staff responsible has been suspended with immediate effect pending a disciplinary hearing.”

The news split opinion online. Ben Bow said on Facebook: “Personally when I saw what it said I raised a wry smile on an otherwise fairly bleak day for humanity. Suspended? Shame on you Oddbins. I would have thought you’d stand behind your member of staff.”

Rachel French posted: “Why let the staff update twitter or facebook on behalf of the whole company? Maybe the management should take care of that instead, nothing this person wrote is offensive, I heard eight middle age people celebrating her death and toasting.”

But Grace Morgan wrote: “Disgusting tweet. I hope the person involved is sacked.”

Meanwhile on Twitter @OurSecretPlaces said: “Shame on you. Regardless of your political standing, a person died today and a family grieve. How inappropriate.”

No-one at Oddbins Crouch End was willing to speak to the Broadway tonight, but its manager reportedly said he was “non-plussed” at the furore, calling it an ill-timed sales promotion.

- Let us know what you think below. A crass and inappropriate comment, or harmless humour? An overreaction by Oddbins HQ or a sensible, measured reaction to protect its reputation?

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