Caroline Cayeux, the mayor of Beauvais in the Oise department in northern France joked on Twitter that Swedish furniture giant Ikea would be opening in the town, a move which would bring 4,000 jobs with it.
But perhaps unsurprisingly, the prank fell flat, with people calling it 'inappropriate' and criticising the mayor for 'unacceptably' raising the hopes of unemployed residents.
One Twitter user wrote: “What a great joke! I'm leaving my town in one week because it's impossible to find a job here.” (see below)
While another wrote: “Not only have you mocked your constituents but you have also mocked all those who hope to find a job. Shame on you!”
In an interview with French radio station Europe 1 on Tuesday, Cayeux apologised, saying that it “was not very wise” and that she was sorry that “some may have misinterpreted the joke”.