Shortly after the shocking news broke this morning of the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union, The Economist tweeted its latest cover: a torn Britsh flag and the caption "A tragic split."
The title was one of the first U.K. media publications to react as the news came in the early hours of Friday morning. Elsewhere, U.K. newspapers reacted along predictable party lines: The Sun, which backed Brexit, with the headline "See EU Later," while the pro-Remain Mirror printed a photograph of a somber soccer fan's face painted with the Union Jack and the caption "We're Out."
One of the first brand leaders to react was Richard Branson of Virgin, who tweeted: "Leaving the EU is a very sad decision that will do huge damage to Britain's prosperity & Europe's stability."
Meanwhile, fashion retailer Dorothy Perkins was derided on Twitter after merrily tweeting: "Woo! Who has that #Friday Feeling? X" with celebratory emoji at 9.21am just as the pound was crashing to its lowest level since 1985. The company has since deleted the tweet.
Ad industry leaders at the Cannes Lions festival of creativity and elsewhere in Europe, meanwhile, reacted with shock.