But it transpired the webchat was a wind-up, with users instead posing questions to a fake Kate Middleton.
Comments from users included: ‘Trust has now been lost and it is hard to know what that will mean for the site/site user relationship moving forward’, ‘Shame on you MN’ and ‘Ill-advised, and poorly executed’.
Mark Pinsent, head of digital at Shine Communications, warned that the site now risked losing trust with users who felt ‘duped’ by the stunt. He said: ‘For those that were fooled into thinking it was real there would only have been disappointment.’
James Herring, co-founder of Taylor Herring, added: ‘Normally they are an impeccably smart and savvy bunch. It would appear that royal wedding fever fuelled by a bonus splash of bank holiday Pimms has tipped the scales on this occasion.’
Justine Roberts, Mumsnet co-founder & CEO, admitted the site had not made it clear enough that the webchat was a spoof. She said: ‘We didn't mean for anyone to take it seriously, it was just meant to be a laugh for our users, as webchats are our trademark, it seemed a good way for us to mark the big event.’
She added: ‘It was not our intention to mislead folks and we are very sorry for any disappointment caused.’
Stephen Waddington, MD of Speed, said: ‘The stunt backfired as Mumsnet does not have a reputation for irreverence, but the site could easily rebuild its reputation with a campaign "that returns to the values of the community".'
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