900-store UK pub chain calls time on social media for ‘bad publicity’
By Agence France-Presse
British pub chain JD Wetherspoon has closed all of its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts with immediate effect following “bad publicity” over the social media platforms, the company announced Monday.
The firm, which has almost 900 pubs across the UK and Ireland, linked the move to “bad publicity surrounding social media” including the “trolling” of politicians and others, “especially those from religious or ethnic minorities”.
“It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion,” Wetherspoon chairman and founder Tim Martin said in a statement.
“We will still be as vocal as ever through our Wetherspoon News magazine, as well as keeping the press updated at all times.
“We will also be maintaining our website and the Wetherspoon app and encourage customers to get in touch with us via our website or by speaking with the manager at their local pub,” Martin added.
Martin is a vocal supporter of Brexit and was a “Leave” campaign donor in the run-up to Britain’s shock referendum result in favour of leaving the European Union.
The pub chain has even printed special anti-EU beer mats for punters.
Martin said: “We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business.
“I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever, and this is the overwhelming view of our pub managers.”