With the PR disaster that was H&M's most recent ad still very much in the media eye and kicking up a social media storm, one could say it's inadvisable to follow in their footsteps. But clearly, trolls never receive the memo and Twitter user Kieron Marsh is no exception.
Not only did Marsh borrow the ad, it can be argued that his mockup even more insensitive. Referring to the disappearance of 3-year-old Madeleine McCann, 'the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history,' in 2007, he posted a photoshopped picture of the toddler on his account. Following the same format as the H&M ad, this one had McCann's head plastered on a sweater which read 'Hide and seek champion.'
The tweet, captioned 'Absolutely disgusting from H&M. I'm ashamed! has been liked 68,000 times and retweeted another 25,000 times. Despite the high-profile nature of the case and the fact that the wound still remains fresh for a vast majority of people, the post did not receive too much of a negative response on the social media platform.
Here are some of the reactions the post got:
The post got so much traction that The Sun even wrote this article about the tweet. But even that was not enough to put Marsh off, who seemed to be thriving on the attention. Instead, he would go even further and make put out another tweet, but not before throwing shade at the paper.
His next post targeted the parents of Madeleine, Kate and Gerry McCann. He would post two separate pics each of Kate and Gerry, photoshopped in the same fashion as their daughter's mockup was. The post was captioned: "I’m absolutely disgusted with H&M certainly will not be shopping there again first Maddie now Kate and Gerry."
The ones with Kate had her head cropped on to grey hoodies which read: "Mum of the year" and "We killed our daughter."
He had his head cropped on to black hoodies which said: "Dad of the year" and "We killed our daughter."
Once again, the reactions left a lot to desire:
However, one comment did call him out:
The advent of social media has meant that trolls like Marsh can make these incredibly insensitive posts and face virtually no consequence for them. They can hide behind their screens and continue to make inflammatory comments without fearing any repercussions.
It doesn't help that Kate and Gerry are both constantly the target of abusive messages. Some still believe that they were responsible for their daughter's death themselves, with a study last year finding that they are targeted with an average of 150 abusive messages from social media users each day.
If you have any views or stories that you would like to share with us, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org