'We now know we were wrong': Paperchase backtracks on promotion in Daily Mail

Stationery and gift retailer Paperchase has apologised to its followers on social media following objections to a promotional deal it ran on the front page of Saturday's print edition of the Daily Mail.

On Saturday, readers of the Mail were offered two rolls of free wrapping paper by Paperchase.

This was quickly noted by Stop Funding Hate, the online activist group which targets companies advertising in the Sun, Daily Mail and Express, arguing that the media outlets promote divisive and hateful views.

The group has played a role in encouraging The Body Shop, Lego, Joy, Evans Cycles and others to pull such ads - but PR pros have also warned that brands should be wary of the message it sends when they bow to this pressure.

Paperchase published a statement on Twitter a few hours later, saying: "We genuinely like to know what customers think about us." It promised to review all customer feedback "in detail". That tweet had received 480 responses at the time of writing.

Earlier this morning (Monday), Paperchase announced that having listened to feedback, it had realised it was "wrong" to run the promotion, was  "truly sorry", and would never do it again.

It finished: "We apologise if we have let you down on this one. Lesson learnt."

Approached for comment, a spokesman for the Mail said that Paperchase had only run one promotion in the paper, and had no plans for any more.

He said: "It is deeply worrying that Paperchase should have allowed itself to be bullied into apologising - on the back of a derisory number of Facebook comments and tweets - to internet trolls orchestrated by a small group of hard left Corbynist individuals seeking to suppress legitimate debate and impose their views on the media. Has the company considered what message they are sending to the four million people who read the Daily Mail on Saturday, many of whom will be their customers?

"It is one of the fundamental principles of free and fearless journalism that editorial decisions are not dictated by advertisers or commercial partners, and we are sure the PR industry will be as appalled as we are by Stop Funding Hate's attempts to threaten the Mail and other newspapers."

Read next: PR pros raise concerns as brands ditch online ads in the Mail, Sun and Express

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