Campbell Soup has apologised for a tweet by its SpaghettiOs brand marking the anniversary of the Pearl Harbour attacks with a picture of its smiling mascot jauntily holding an American flag.
The Twitter account for the canned pasta brand sent the message asking its followers to "Take a moment to remember #PearlHarbor with us".
The cartoon mascot, drawn to look like an O-shaped noodle, sported orange trainers and was licking his lip, with one hand on his hip.
The tweet spread rapidly, with thousands retweeting it and noting its jarring tone, given the gravity of the occasion. More than 2,400 Americans were killed in the Pearl Harbour attacks that prompted America's entry into the Sceond World War.
A representative for Campbell Soup Co, which owns SpaghettiOs, said tonight that the message had been deleted and SpaghettiOs, which has more than 11,000 followers, sent out a follow-up tweet stating, "We apologise for our recent tweet in remembrance of Pearl Harbour Day. We meant to pay respect, not to offend."