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KitchenAid’s Twitter Debate Fumble Not Deleted Fast Enough

| Wednesday October 3rd, 2012 | 14 Comments

If you are a KitchenAid mixer fan who tuned into Twitter during the presidential debate tonight, you might have caught an errant tweet. @KitchenAidUSA: “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! She died 3 days b4 he became president.”

Obama was talking about his grandmother who passed away just before he was elected president in 2008.

The insensitive, ungrammatical (even for Twitter) tweet was deleted, but not quickly enough. Responses are flooding in right now to the @kitchenaidUSA account, chiding the lack of class and irresponsibility of the tweet. The brand quickly apologized, “Deepest apologies for an irresponsible tweet that is in no way a representation of the brand’s opinion. #nbcpolitics” But that hasn’t stopped hundreds of people tweeting to claim that they won’t buy KitchenAid’s iconic mixer anymore.

This was a particularly visible “oops” since it happened when thousands of people were on Twitter commenting about the presidential debate. This brand that stands for baking cookies and cheery color-coordinated kitchens suddenly finds themselves in the middle of the political fray with a classless anti-Obama tweet. According to www.opensecrets.org, KitchenAid has not made any political donations to either party, and there haven’t been any other political tweets from them this evening, so one has to assume that the tweet came from someone who didn’t realize they were logged in to the company account.

It’s another stark reminder about how quickly the tide can turn against a brand on social media. This was almost certainly a case of “someone tweeting from the wrong handle” just like last year’s Chrysler fail. It’s remarkably easy to make mistakes when you are tweeting quickly. In this world of ultra-connectivity, brands need to be absolutely vigilant about who has access to the company handle.

On the one hand, you’ve got to feel for KitchenAid, but on the other, they hired the mystery, soon-to-be-unemployed, marketing manager who made the mistake in the first place. The tweet was certainly super insensitive, but it was also kind of dumb. Didn’t the bosses check out this employee’s personal twitter stream before handing over the keys?


▼▼▼      14 Comments     ▼▼▼

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  • x2fur

    worst PR stunt ever…

  • dpy

    never buying kitchen aid products again

  • SM Guy

    Don’t you kind of feel bad for the guy? It is VERY easy to accidentally Tweet from a client’s Twitter account on a smart phone. He thought he was being clever & funny and then possibly lost his job. Not a PR stunt, and it was NOTHING that Kitchen Aid even supported. Don’t take Tweets too seriously sometimes, people. We all make mistakes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jen.boynton Jen Boynton

      I’d feel worse for him if the tweet was actually funny. It was kind of crass and not even appropriate for a personal handle.

      The takeaway is that KitchenAid’s marketing department showed bad judgement in giving someone who’d tweet this from his personal account access to the brand’s handle.

      • SM Guy

        While the Tweet wasn’t necessarily funny, does this mean that every thing you’ve said has been funny and not in bad taste? They didn’t interview him for this position by asking him to make funny political jokes, right? Again, the guy made the mistake and is paying for it now.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jen.boynton Jen Boynton

          I’m mostly just interested in this from KitchenAid’s POV. I agree that his personal politics and humor don’t matter, but I do think his taste level absolutely does.

          The thing about tweeting effectively is that you do have to be authentic and personal – even when you’re representing a brand.

          Someone’s personal twitter feed would basically be the only thing I’d look at if I were hiring someone to work ours and KitchenAid should not have given him the keys if his personal twitter feed looks like this tweet. How they represent themselves is a good indicator of how they will represent you.

        • skihill11

          How stupid do you have to be to accidentally tweet to 24,000 corporate followers? Pretty dumb! Next time it may be his naked bottom or worse!

  • JFen

    This was a dumb thing to tweet, regardless of whether you’re on your own feed or your company’s. But people have shown time and again that we are stupid when it comes to social media. Should this guy get fired? I don’t know. Should Kitchen at least keep him off their Twitter feed? Probably. Will this keep me from buying Kitchen Aid products. Nope. Look, if you’re going to use social media, you are going to have to develop a thicker skin, folks.

  • http://twitter.com/GaryMillrat Marie

    look at kitchen aid website..yes, they contribute to campaigns and RNC pac. Usually few can post as the corporate brand…not many employees; ie PR person .

    • http://www.facebook.com/jen.boynton Jen Boynton

      Do you have a link? I don’t see any record of their political donations on their website (most companies don’t exactly publicize that stuff). If you have one, I’d be happy to update the article.

  • LadyeCatte

    ” soon-to-be-unemployed”..??? What makes you say that? All she said was that this person wouldn’t be tweeting for them anymore, conveniently not giving a name or position in the company.
    Not convinced they’re sorry until the culprit is revealed and it is announced they were fired without reference or severance pay.

  • q`Tzal

    Buy an Electrolux Mixer DLX also referred to as “Magic Mill”.
    I won’t toss my old 350 watt bowl lift but KitchenAid has had a consistent policy of over rating the capability of their mixers. KitchenAid is a brand that used to imply quality but has failed the standards that brought its brand name to common knowledge. This social gaff is indemic of a corporate mentality that is only interested in cashing in on their past greatness.

    I found a 10 year old USED DLX mixer on CL. It takes up the same counter space as my KitchenAid and while kneading 10 pounds of dough it makes less than half the noise my KitchenAid does on 1 pound of the same dough. I afterwards the KitchenAid needs a long cool down; my DLX does not.

    KitchenAid has devolved to a colorful fashion brand and they’ve finally shown their true colors.

  • Joe Peterson

    What if part of that seriously held some truth!? Do you know they’re now selling books on public tv on how to “Survive Obamacare” ….now doesn’t THAT tell you something?! We need background checks to own guns, BUT we don’t need one to be the president of the US of A…… welcome to America everyone!!

    • jenboynton

      Wait, you’re actually arguing that Obama’s grandmother died on purpose because she didn’t want to see him become president?