For those of you who think that Twitter’s message deletion facility is the perfect get-out-of-jail card against misguided Tweets that you post in haste then think again.

Once you’ve clicked on the ‘Send’ button and released your message into the public domain it could already be too late to remove it before someone retweets your post and you no longer have control.

Yet if you’re still under the illusion that deleting the original message offers you some measure of PR protection then you only have to look at the recent case of US kitchen appliance manufacturer KitchenAid to see the damage that impulsive and spontaneous Tweets can do to your brand.

The company has just been forced to make a grovelling public apology for an offensive Tweet posted during a televised presidential election debate, which prompted a fierce online consumer backlash against the brand.

Shortly after President Obama briefly referred to his late grandmother, who died just three days before he was elected, the following tasteless joke appeared on the official US KitchenAid Twitter feed:

The author promptly deleted the post, but not before the comment had been retweeted and influential social media blog Mashable had managed to get a screen shot of the message.

KitchenAid said in a statement that a member of the Twitter team had mistakenly posted an offensive tweet from the KitchenAid handle instead of a personal handle. It also explained that the person responsible would not be tweeting for the company anymore.

And quite rightly so.

Whether the extraordinarily tasteless joke was intended for the official company feed or not, the perpetrator should have already understood that any such comment of politic nature is instantly destined to alienate approximately half of the voting population at the very least.