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Companies get a lesson in post-Brexit etiquette

Companies are getting a hard lesson in how to tactfully do business in the post-Brexit U.K after British Airways sparked a Twitter backlash for urging overseas travellers to benefit from the drop in sterling sparked by the result of Britain's EU referendum.

A British flag which was washed away by heavy rains the day before lies on the street in London, Britain, June 24, 2016 after Britain voted to leave the European Union in the EU BREXIT referendum.
Reinhard Krause | Reuters

A tweet from the airline's official account Monday, apparently aimed at U.S. travellers, said "Your dollar has never gone further, and with our amazing 3-day sale, you can see even more of London!"

The offer received a flurry of replies suggesting the company was inappropriately trying to profit from market turmoil.

One user responded to the BA account, saying "your company is attempting to make $ off a tumultuous time & possible UK economic downturn. Your ad says enough. #Greed."

Sterling saw significant losses after it was announced that 52 percent of voters opted to leave the EU. The currency dropped 11.94 percent against the U.S. dollar from around 1.36 to 1.32 between Friday, June 24 to Monday, June 27, as investors panicked over the stability of the UK economy outside the European Union.

But it's worth noting that a weak UK currency is not bad news for all UK businesses. While sectors like banking and finance stand to lose out, others like inbound tourism stand to benefit.

In a statement to CNBC, British Airways highlighted their global reach, "We fly people from more than 75 countries across the world to Great Britain. Our U.S.A. sale highlights the great fares currently on offer to the U.K."

However, companies might be wise to err on the side of caution regardless of who gains.

"It's a really important point, that when you have deep political divisions in a country, nearly everything becomes politicized...promotional junk now becomes seen as some sort of political statement," Andre Spicer, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Cass Business School told CNBC by phone.

"Reputation building and those involved in the image of companies need to be a lot more mindful of this political climate," Spicer said.