The BBC has apologised over a Facebook post and tweet comparing its own newsreader Gemma Dawson to a woman who has gone missing.
The post sparked uproar among readers, with many claiming it was in "poor taste" after BBC Look North for East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire shared the post after police renewed an appeal for missing woman Renata Antczak, who disappeared on 25 April.
The 49-year-old lawyer has not been seen since driving her 11-year-old daughter to school in Hull that day.
Police are very concerned for her safety and claimed in a statement that it was out of character for the mother to not be in touch with her family. She has never gone missing before.
BBC Look North received criticism from online readers after they featured the story on its lunchtime broadcast and compared newsreader Gemma Dawson due to her hair and clothing to the missing mother in a social media post.
It originally read: "When your newsreader @GemsDawson looks like a missing mum...Here's a link to the story."
The BBC has since claimed that they regret writing the post, with a BBC spokesman stating: "This post has been deleted. We regret if it caused offence. We are continuing to cover the police search for this missing woman across our output including social media."
People expressed their outrage when the post was shared, with one user writing: "Poor taste. Imagine if her family saw you making jokes about it?"
Another added: "This is an awful tweet. Have some respect for the missing woman", while a third wrote: "Should the BBC be making jokes about a missing woman?"
In response to the comments, BBC Look North replied: "Sorry you think that but we hoped the publicity for the search might help... if people decide to share it?"
The most has since been deleted from BBC Look North's social media accounts.
Anyone with information about Renata Antczak should call Humberside Police on 101, quoting log 324 of 26 April.