The incident: Many Americans were rather underwhelmed by President Obama's mediocre performance in the first presidential debate Wednesday night. But someone on KitchenAid's social media team took their critique of the president's performance too far, tweeting a surprisingly tasteless "joke" about the president's deceased grandmother through the brand's official account. "Obama's gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! 'She died 3 days b4 he became president'. #nbcpolitics," the (since-deleted) tweet reads. The offensive comment, which was presumably made by a KitchenAid employee who mistakenly used the brand's account instead of a personal one, was instantly re-tweeted and prompted a fast response from the company:
Deepest apologies for an irresponsible tweet that is in no way a representation of the brand's opinion. #nbcpolitics
— KitchenAid (@KitchenAidUSA) October 4, 2012
The fallout: "Obviously, it's going to be a bad Thursday for somebody who forgot to log out of a client account, and probably a bad Thursday for quite a few somebodies that gave said employee the keys," says David Griner at Adweek. Indeed, KitchenAid's Cynthia Soledad went into instant damage-control mode, saying in a statement to CNN: "The tasteless joke in no way represents our values at KitchenAid, and that person won't be tweeting for us anymore… I am deeply sorry to President Obama, his family, and the Twitter community for this careless error." At least we know that the ill-advised wisecrack wasn't "some new effort to make mixers seem more edgy," says Margaret Hartmann at New York. But really, "is it so hard to check the account before sharing controversial political opinions on Twitter?"