BBC Worldwide has been forced to apologise and has pledged to review its email marketing practises over an email promoting products starring the late musician and presenter Humphrey Lyttelton. Complainants accused BBC Shop, part of the BBC’s commercial operations, of trying to profit from his death.
An email marketing campaign was sent to a number of customers promoting tribute shows being broadcast yesterday (April 30). It encouraged them to visit the I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue (Lyttleton’s BBC radio show) department at the BBC shop to “celebrate” his life.
The email brought complaints that the BBC was exploiting Lyttleton’s death for commercial gain. The BBC has apologised for any offence the email may have caused its customers and says it should not have been sent. A spokeswoman says: “It should not have happened, and it should not have been worded the way it was. Someone had the best intentions with this, but did not think about how it would be received.”
She adds that the BBC Shop will review its policy on communications and how they are checked and sent out.