Someone in the marketing department at online retailer ThredUp tried to have a little fun in an email to customers over the weekend, but crossed the line as far as some customers were concerned when it used the subject line: "Fuq overpriced handbags."
Hours later, the company sent a follow-up email apologizing for the missive:
I wanted to apologize to you directly for an email you may have received from us this morning.
The subject line of the email was in poor taste and does not reflect how we talk to our customers or anyone for that matter.
We value each and every one of you hugely. We strive to bring you great deals everyday and make your life a little brighter. This morning's email missed the mark by a mile. I am sorry.
The send was stopped as quickly as possible, once the mistake was identified. And we are improving the process by which our emails are approved.
If you received the email, we hope you can accept our sincere apologies.
We know better, and we will do better for you in the future.
Chief Marketing Officer
After a reader sent us the emails, we checked to see the fallout on social media.
"Dear ThredUp, it's not cute when you "curse" in your subject line. Have some class, please. Thanks," an offended recipient wrote on Twitter.
"Received this email today. Do not think the subject line is very appropriate. Shame on you, ThredUp," another posted on Facebook.
But it was clear that not everyone had taken offense - it might have helped that the original email included a 40% off coupon code.
"thredUP just so you know... that subject line was hilarious and it made me open the email. (So mission accomplished, right???)," tweeted one customer.
Several users said they hadn't noticed the first email, but the apology email got them to look at it. "thredUP if the apology email was to get me to go back for the original email and browse handbags- it worked. Nice marketing."
Another customer used some humor to respond, tweeting about the incident and writing, "thanks for the apology, shtuff happens."
And one user said it was refreshing that the company responded to concerns. "@thredUP Please tell Anthony Marino how much I appreciate his apology. Others could learn from his example of saying sorry!"
What do you think, was ThredUp's use of the word "fuq" offensive - and is it ever acceptable to use in a marketing email? Is it worth the risk of offending people to try to get people's attention?