Update. Paperchase’s PR spokesperson just told us that the design was bought from an outside design agency and they are trying to get to the bottom of this issue. They added they were “deeply concerned” about what has happened and will be issuing a statement shortly.
As we saw with the recent Eurostar debacle, ignoring Twitter can be a big mistake. News travels very fast on Twitter (and Facebook, let’s not forget) and brands and companies ignore it at their peril.
The latest today is that “Paperchase” is trending in the UK (Update: it is now trending globally) because an artist alleges that the stationary retailer had one of her designs copied for an in-house product (see images below, used on artist’s site).
Many Twitter users are now saying they plan to boycott Paperchase unless the situation is resolved and the artist paid for their work.
We’ve contacted the company for comment and left a message but so far they haven’t called us back.
Why this is significant is because while it is impossible for people to avoid using the Eurostar if they want to take a train between London and Paris, they can quite easily buy their cards and stationary elsewhere.
With the highly profitable Valentines Day approaching, Paperchase could see its sales fall dramatically if this Twitter meme gathers pace and enters mainstream media.
The alternative of course is that Paperchase goes into damage control mode quickly.
Update: People are now starting to comment on Paperchase’s Amazon listing for the product design in question.
In addition, as with the Eurostar case referred to above, an official sounding @paperchaseuk does not appear to be controlled by the company.