Even the most beloved brands are prone to the occasional blunder.
While French beauty retailer Sephora landed squarely at the top of our list of the world’s most trusted companies earlier this year, the cosmetic giant is currently in the throes of one of the most vulgar social-media mishaps ever.
On the heels of its foray Down Under -- with the first Australian Sephora store slated to open in Sydney today -- the company decided to roll out a hashtag, #CountdownToBeauty, to generate buzz on social media.
But in what should serve as a brutal lesson in the importance of proofreading, one missing letter threw the entire promotional campaign into complete disarray. In a Facebook post -- which has since been deleted -- the company’s social-media handlers mistakenly left out the first ‘o’ in the word ‘countdown,’ resulting in the uproariously profane #C**tdownToBeauty.
Sound like an understandable error that might have gone unnoticed by a forgiving public? Think again. The Twitterverse reeled with amusement and outrage, reports the Daily Mail. “I think the countdown to #Sephora opening might also be the countdown to someone being fired,” wrote Australian radio host Rachel Corbett.
Others speculated that the error may have been intentional:
Mistake or stroke of marketing genius? I'm actually calling the latter! #CuntDownToBeauty— Bodil Bodilson (@Oglaf) December 4, 2014
Either way, the botched post isn’t likely to hamper Sephora’s exponential proliferation across the globe. The company currently currently counts 1,900 stores in 29 countries, according to the Daily Mail, with additional locations expected to arrive in Australia in coming years. The company’s Parisian location receives 6 million visitors each year, which is more than the Eiffel Tower.