AT&T Is Sorry For Their 9/11 Tweet
AT&T removed a controversial tweet yesterday commemorating the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and apologized for any offense. The message, which featured the image above, was seen by many as using the remembrance of the attacks to promote the company.
AT&T assured followers that the tweet “was solely meant to pay respect to those affected by the 9/11 tragedy.”
But users aren’t so convinced, probably because the image prominently displays a phone that is presumably operating on the AT&T network. The company literally covered up a real-world memorial with an image displayed on their product, photoshopping themselves into the middle of a very solemn location.
Lauren Indvik of Mashable responded that this was “not an occasion for product placement.”
Several companies made gaffes trying to acknowledge the 9/11 anniversary, but most were small local businesses. A golf course in Wisconsin apologized after offering a 9-hole round for $9.11 to “commemorate” the day. A Marriott hotel apparently offered free muffins and coffee in “remembrance of those we lost,” but the corporate headquarters issued a statement making clear this was the decision of an individual location, and apologizing anyway.
And perhaps most prominently, the website for magazine Esquire briefly displayed a picture of a victim falling from one of the towers next to the headline, “Making your morning commute more stylish.” The periodical tweeted an apology for the mix-up (the photo was meant to accompany an article about the infamous image), but also told users to “relax.”
So to recap: if your company is going to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11, DO NOT highlight your business or products, don’t do something that seems to trivialize the day, and if you have to apologize, really apologize.