Home Depot plumbs new depths in tweeting

Home Depot posts a tweet featuring a picture of three drummers -- two African-American men and a man in a gorilla costume -- with the question: "Which drummer is not like the others?"

Attempted humor? Jonathan Wall/Twitter Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

By now, corporate America has probably heard of Twitter.

It's less because CEOs and CMOs might have seen a hashtag during their evening viewing of "The X Factor." It's more because Twitter had an IPO this week, which means CNBC mentioned it a lot.

Perhaps now might be the time, then, to stop those with the sense and taste of a rabid stoat from taking the controls of corporate Twitter accounts.

I mention this only because of a tweet emitted by Home Depot.

As NBC's Today Show reports, on Thursday the company decided to accompany its sponsorship of the ESPN College Gameday show with a tweet that read: "Which drummer is not like the others? See more @CollegeGameDay pics at #HDgameday #football."

This seemed innocent enough, until you realized that the image accompanying this was of three drummers. Two were African-American. The third was in a gorilla suit.

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You must decide whether the person in charge of the Home Depot Twitter account was entirely myopic, suffered from certain deficient capacities, or thought he was being funny.

Still, someone intact spotted this tweet fairly quickly and it was taken down.

Home Depot tweeted: "We have zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive. Deeply sorry. We terminated agency and individual who posted it."

The company also told NBC News: "We're also closely reviewing our social media procedures to determine how this could have happened, and how to ensure it never happens again."

There seem to be quite a few companies whose social media procedures don't proceed with anything approaching sense.

At least when Kenneth Cole makes tasteless tweets it's a cynical move on the part of its founder to get publicity.

But whether it's F-bombs on Chrysler's Twitter feed or Entenmann's inserting its cakes into the Casey Anthony verdict , you have to wonder who is being left in charge of corporate Twitter accounts.

Urban legend has it that companies leave Twitter to the interns, because they understand that sort of thing.

All too often, it seems as if they don't have a clue. The companies, that is.

 

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