A risky move from a branch of UK coffee brand Costa has backfired after it used a sexual innuendo to advertise a online game.
A coffee shop has landed in hot water after its attempt at using a racy innuendo to advertise a promotion backfired.
In a now-deleted post to Facebook, the Costa Coffee store in Dunmail Park in Workington, England, encouraged customers to play a virtual game of “flick the bean” to win a prize.
The post addressed “freshers”, which in the UK refers to first year university students, and said they could fuel “early morning lectures” or the start of their “wild nights out” by playing the game.
“Get lucky when you flick the coffee bean into one of the Costa cups to reveal a surprise deal,” the promo read.
In the game, “flick the bean” refers to flicking a coffee bean into a cup, however the term is popularly known as slang for female masturbation.
The post caught the attention of London man Richard Hards, who shared a screenshot of the post to his Instagram last week writing, “Costa Coffee know how to start the day right.”
The official account for the coffee brand responded denying any responsibility for the promotion.
“Can’t take the credit for this one! – Natalie,” a Costa employee wrote in a comment to his post.
Others seemed similarly surprised, with one person responding, “This cannot be real? If it is, the marketing team need a pay rise.”
Costa Coffee has since revealed the competition was run by a franchise and was not endorsed by the brand.
“This competition was run by one of our franchise partners in a small number of stores and was not approved by Costa Coffee,” a spokesperson told The Daily Mail.
“We apologise for any offence caused and have requested the immediate removal of the competition.”
The website that was originally hosting the game has since been shut down.
Mr Hards told the publication he wasn’t surprised the promotion had been cancelled, given the brand’s typically PG reputation.
“I imagine they may have got a bit of flack – a family-friendly company posting things like that. It’s a little bit on the nose, but I’m a little bit sad to see it come down,” he said.