The National Lottery has apologised after one of its campaigns was hijacked with ‘abhorrent' images

The campaign showed British athletes pictured holding offensive signs.

The National Lottery has apologised after one of its campaigns went spectacularly wrong.

The Camelot Group, which operates the National Lottery, has been running a campaign with British Athletics to highlight the support athletes receive.

Great Britain's Dina Asher-Smith(Martin Rickett/PA)
Dina Asher-Smith was one of the athletes pictured holding offensive signs (Martin Rickett/PA)

It involved asking Twitter users to retweet their #Represent posts celebrating the athletes’ achievements and rewarding anyone who did with an automated thank you that included pictures of the athletes holding up a banner that was supposed to say the user’s name.

This being the internet, things did not go to plan.

Users instead uploaded “abhorrent” messages including “I have Maddie” as well as the names of murderers and paedophiles.

The National Lottery apologised for the incident.

Walkers crisps had a similar PR fail earlier this year when the company asked users to send in a selfie to win tickets for the Champions League final, which were then held up in a video by Gary Lineker.

Trolls instead chose to send in images of paedophiles, dictators and serial killers.

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