Stationery and card specialist Paperchase was forced to defend itself yesterday after being targeted by a Twitter campaign.

After an artist using the name Hidden Eloise alleged that one of her designs had been plagiarised and claimed the retailer had ignored her concerns, Paperchase became one of the most tweeted topics on the micro-blogging site.

The retailer was forced to put a message on its website in response to the controversy as consumers began writing negative reviews of Paperchase and its products on the Internet more widely, including Amazon.

Paperchase apologised to “any customers upset or angered by this allegation against us”.

The retailer said: “Paperchase takes all reasonable precautions to check that designs we source or buy from individual designers or agencies are from reputable sources.

“In this case, we would like to confirm that Paperchase bought the artwork in question, in good faith, in October 2008, from a well-known central London design studio along with a number of other designs.

“The illustrator who is making the allegation made us aware of her concerns in November 2009 and we duly responded to her in early December, since when we had heard nothing…until today.

“Back in November 2009, we spoke at length to the design studio in question and they categorically denied any plagiarism.

“It is worrying that such an allegation can create such reaction and again, Paperchase apologises for any ill-feeling caused.”