Mobile phone giant Nokia has been forced to apologise to its clients after an offensive phrase was posted from its New Zealand Twitter account.

The abusive tweet caused something of a Twitter storm this afternoon with images of the four-letter insult re-posted around the internet.

The message stayed on the account for at least 13 minutes before it was deleted by Nokia, which quickly replaced it with an apology.

"Hi everyone, contrary to the last tweet, we love our Nokia NZ fans! Apologies to those who were offended- we're investigating the source now," it said.


It was not clear whether the Scandinavian company's account was hacked, whether the tweet was sent from a disgruntled employee, or whether it was sent in error.

Some commentators of Twitter suggested the post had been sent via a text message to the company's account.

Nokia's New Zealand call-centre said the firm was "aware" of the post, and an investigation had been launched.