Supermarket chain Iceland was today forced to issue an apology after Corporate Affairs Director Keith Hann described the Welsh language as “gibberish” in a personal blog post likely to offend Welsh shoppers, employees and shareholders alike.
The Director has previously drawn controversy for comments on Wales and the Welsh language, having previously tweeted that “inhabitants of the UK’s Celtic fringe loathe all visitors”, and on another post expressing his relief at being two miles across the English border or his son “would be having part of his education conducted in gibberish”.
The company is headquartered in Deeside, North Wales and has already aroused controversy in Wales by having an English-only signage policy, even in towns where the Welsh language is widely spoken.
The brand sought to reassure customers by affirming their commitment to the country and distancing themselves from their outspoken Director’s comments, saying in a statement:
“Iceland is aware of comments made by our director of corporate affairs and the upset which these have caused.
“These comments are not reflective in any way of Iceland’s views or philosophy as a company, and were not made on the company’s behalf.
“We are proud to be based in Wales, as a major investor and employer in the country. The matter is being dealt with internally and we apologise for any upset or offence caused”.
The controversial Director has since deleted his Twitter account and made posts private. Meanwhile, the statement has done little to soothe the feelings of angry Welsh shoppers – a tweet summarised the feelings of many who are now saying they will boycott the chain:
— Celtes 🏴 (@Celtes_Cymru) February 15, 2021