Home Depot is scrambling to save face after someone controlling its Twitter account spit out a bizarre photo depicting two African Americans flanking a third person wearing a monkey suit, all sitting on buckets, with the message, “Which drummer is not like the others?” No one involved is monkeying around any longer.
The image, tweeted out Thursday, was part of an ad campaign for the company’s promotion of ESPN’s “College Game Day,” according to The Christian Science Monitor.
The clean-up job came rather quickly, but as many know, cleaning up a social media post isn’t always a snap. Home Depot fired off a series of tweets apologizing for the “monkey post,” directing the tweets at those chatting about the incident, including the NAACP, according to The Monitor.
Company spokesman Stephen Holmes said Home Depot is reviewing its social media accounts and has “zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive.” Both the agency and the individual responsible for the tweet have been ousted, the article said.
We have zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive. Deeply sorry. We terminated agency and individual who posted it.
— The Home Depot (@HomeDepot) November 7, 2013
Other companies have sustained blows to their reputations via social media. Chrysler claimed its Twitter account had been hacked in 2011, when its account tweeted, “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to ****king drive,” according to Mashable. The post included the entire spelling of the F-bomb.
In 2012, Kitchen Aid felt the heat when one of its employees posted a mistaken tweet about the death of Barack Obama’s grandmother. AT&T was criticized for using Twitter and Sept. 11 as a way to promote itself, according to The Monitor. In a more recent story, Kellogg’s UK issued an apology for promising to give breakfast to poor kids in exchange for retweets.
Crisis expert Sam Singer commended Home Depot.
“The company did right by taking it down right away, by apologizing, and by firing those responsible,” Singer told KPIX. “The companies that go wrong are the ones that don’t act quickly, don’t apologize and drag their feet.”