There is a right way businesses can honor the fallen on anniversaries of September 11th, 2001. Every businessperson in their right mind who wanted to honor the fallen would try to be as sensitive as possible without being totally removed from honoring the anniversary. They’d want to convey a sense of patriotism — but at the same time wouldn’t want to be seen as monetizing the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Running some sort of “9/11 special” would be in bad taste, so aside from offering to sponsor some event honoring the fallen or offering discounts to firefighters and police, there isn’t much you can do.
There are countless examples of 9/11-based advertising gone awry. Walmart was among one of the big-name brands that had an advertising faux pas this year when they had a soda display in the shape of the twin towers to “honor” the anniversary, but there are countless past examples of other well known corporations doing the same.
Companies like Walmart at least have the resources to go into damage control mode — and are large enough where a distasteful display can be blamed on a particular store but not the corporation as a whole. The same can’t be said for one Texas-based mattress store that gave us a lesson in how to destroy your business in one advertisement.
Last week, a Texas mattress store drew national attention after it posted an ad mocking the 9/11 terror attacks with a “Twin Tower sale.”Though the ad — which, as FOX 8 reports, depicted employees knocking down two stacks of twin mattresses — was quickly removed, the San Antonio-based Miracle Mattress became the target of nationwide outrage.
Soon afterwards, the store’s owner Mike Bonanno posted a letter apologizing for the “tasteless” ad, but even that earned little forgiveness from the American public — many of whom wanted nothing less than to see the outlet close its doors as soon as possible.
It seems that it was a message that Miracle Mattress heard loud and clear.
On Friday, the owner posted another letter to Facebook stating that, “effective immediately,” Miracle Mattress would be closing its doors:
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]