The UPS Store deletes tweet promising to shred kids’ letters to Santa

Twitter users lashed out at the shipping and business services retailer after it tried—and failed—to incite conversation by tweeting a decidedly Scrooge-like joke.

UPS Store deletes Grinchy tweet

One good shredding deserves another.

On Sunday, The UPS Store tweeted a holiday-themed joke: “If your child addresses a letter to the North Pole, you can leave it with us. We do the shredding.”

As it turns out, the shipping service was less taking a jab at the rival U.S. Postal Service and more touting an in-store service. The Twitterverse didn’t seem to care.

It didn’t take long for the backlash to come, with some tweeting that they would use an alternative service to deliver their packages.

Other Twitter users spread the news by responding to the tweet with additional snark:

On Monday, the company’s social media team removed the tweet as criticism continued. An explanation from a UPS rep didn’t do much to remedy the damage.

The Hill reported:

A spokeswoman for the UPS Store said the tweet was never intended to put Christmas in a negative light.

“Our voice and our personality on Twitter really tries to bring some fun and get some attention,” UPS Store spokeswoman Tracy Spahr told The Hill. “Our intention was to have some fun but it was taken in a negative way. To be sensitive to our customers we decided to remove it.”

The Washington Post reported:

Staci Reidinger, a public relations and social media manager at the UPS Store, which franchises its brand, was quick to return a reporter’s phone call. She said the brand has been working on cultivating a fun personality on social media for the past year, with the help of creative agency EP+Co. Still, the UPS Store reviews all tweets the agency writes for it before they are published.

The brand was “trying to find a way to get you looking and paying attention to our brand,” she said the tweet was emphasizing shredding, what she called one of the lesser-heralded services of its stores.

… “We were, like, maybe this isn’t in alignment of where we were going to go with our holiday personality and posts,” she said.

Some say deleting the tweet made it more infamous, but the bigger lesson for social media pros is to think through their attempts at humor. Even though The UPS Store’s tweet was meant to be lighthearted, it got them attention for all the wrong reasons.

Consider both your audience and your brand’s voice before tweeting an edgy joke or snarky comment, because not every organization can successfully pull off a sassy personality—especially when poking fun at Santa Claus and his wide-eyed devotees.

COMMENT Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from directly in your inbox.