YORKSHIRE TEA have been forced to urge their social media followers to "try to be kind" after receiving a cacophony of online abuse when a Conservative politician posted a photo with their tea.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak uploaded a picture to social media on Friday of him appearing to make a huge tea round for his Treasury staff.
Even though Yorkshire Tea weren't involved in the move, their Twitter account was soon bombarded with hundreds of angry messages from users demanding a boycott of the brand.
The company said it had been "pretty shocked" by the outcry, reminding people that Jeremy Corbyn had also posed with its products in 2017.
We've spent the last three days answering furious accusations and boycott calls. For some, our tea just being drunk by someone they don't like means it's forever tainted, and they've made sure we know it.
— Yorkshire Tea (@YorkshireTea) February 24, 2020
The admin for Yorkshire Tea's Twitter posted a collection of screenshots of some of the abuse the account had received - kindly hiding the bios of the abusers - before reminding them that "there's a human on the other end".
"We've spent the last three days answering furious accusations and boycott calls. For some, our tea just being drunk by someone they don't like means it's forever tainted, and they've made sure we know it," they wrote.
"It's been pretty shocking to see the determination some have had to drag us into a political mudfight. But it's been lovely to see others speak up for us - we're so grateful to everyone who's done that in a civil way (and gutted to see some use it as a reason for more nastiness).
"Speaking directly now, as the person who's been answering these tweets, I know it could have been much worse. It's easier to be on the receiving end of this as a brand than as an individual. There's more emotional distance and I've had a team to support me when it got a bit much."
I’ve stopped using Yorkshire tea since then as I don’t want to use a product that received publicity from an xenophobic fascist racist Political Party. I got rid of Yorkshire tea from all three of my offices and from home. All staff and other family and friends feel same.
— Limited Ferry Services (@Wade73605662) February 24, 2020
The bizarre incident comes less than two weeks after TV presenter Caroline Flack committed suicide amid a flurry of online abuse.
In the days since, commentators were urging social media users to think carefully about what they were posting, not knowing what potential harm their words could be doing to someone.
*Just a reminder, if you ever see Thierry Henry or Bono reading a copy of the Irish post, please don't boycott us.