Tesco in discussions with Twitter to tackle parody account

Tesco is working with Twitter in the hope of tackling a parody account that has begun tweeting its customers with expletive-filled messages in reply to their customer service queries and complaints.

Tesco Express
The parody Tesco Express Twitter account.

The @Tecso_Express account carries an edited version of the Tesco logo, reading “Tecso”, as its avatar. The bio reads “Sweary Tesco (But not actually Tesco) (Parody)”.

The account was set up in 2011 but the account holder has only become active in the past few days, having posted 265 sweary tweets and @replies at the time of writing. It has gained more than 5,000 followers and only follows one other account: @Asda.

A Tesco spokesman says: “Parody accounts do spring up from time to time. Customers wanting to contact our rather more helpful customer service team can do so through @Tesco”.

Twitter told Marketing Week it does not comment on individual accounts, nor does it proactively monitor content. However, it is understood the two are in discussions about a possible remedy to the situation.

Twitter says on its “Help Center” page it will only move to edit or remove user content in response to a Terms of Service violation or valid legal process.

Parody accounts are accepted on Twitter as long as the avatar is not the exact logo or trademark of the account subject; the bio contains a clear statement to distinguish it from the account subject, such as “Parody Account”; and if the account name is not the exact name of the account subject without another word, such as “not”, “fake” or “fan”.

If Twitter deems the @Tecso_Express account in breach of those rules or its wider Terms of Service, it is likely it will follow its usual process of emailing the account holder with further instructions on how to comply with its requirements.

There is also the possibility Twitter may choose to temporarily suspend the account while the edits are pending, according to a post on the Help Center.

The @Tecso_Express account holder told Marketing Week neither Twitter or Tesco have been in contact to request any edits or removal.