After receiving significant criticism last night, SpaghettiOs has apologized for and removed a tweeted photo of its cartoon-noodle mascot waving an American flag in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. The tweet prompted a series of disgusted replies, with some questioning "who is going to be fired tomorrow" and others appropriating #UhOhSpaghettiOs — the brand's own advertising slogan — as a hashtag. Comedian Patton Oswalt took a number of shots at the tweet as well:
"I know how we'll fix this! Somebody photoshop Mr. O shaking hands with Mandela!" -- damage control at the @SpaghettiOs Twitter feed— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) December 7, 2013
Dear @SpaghettiOs: Genuinely afraid to scroll back & see what you Tweeted on the 50th anniversary of JFKs assassination.— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) December 7, 2013
Others began remixing SpaghettiOs' image onto the scene of other national tragedies, placing the noodle on the sunken Titanic, at the Kent State shootings, and at the Hindenburg disaster — among others — to suggest the absurdity of the brand's tweet. While SpaghettiOs' image may not be the worst instance of a marketing department's overzealous attempt to show its brand's sensitivity to a national day of remembrance, it perhaps should have taken the hint that it's widely considered an inappropriate moment for advertising.
SpaghettiOs removed the tweet and photo around 13 hours after initially posting it. It followed up with an apology, writing, "We apologize for our recent tweet in remembrance of Pearl Harbor Day. We meant to pay respect, not to offend." The pulled tweet is embedded below.