AT&T, Marriott employ ‘tasteless’ marketing on Sept. 11

AT&T offended Twitter users today when it used a photo of the 9/11 memorial to market its phones.  Credit: Twitter
AT&T offended Twitter users today when it used a photo of the 9/11 memorial to market its phones.
Credit: Twitter

Twitter users were outraged after telecom giant AT&T tweeted a photo of the 9/11 memorial lights on its account with the caption “Never forget.” The problem? AT&T’s product placement: A disembodied hand is taking a photo of the lights right in the middle of picture – using an AT&T phone. Amidst tweets remembering those lost on Sept. 11, the sneaky marketing ploy hardly seemed appropriate.

AT&T felt the heat from outraged Twitter users who wrote tweets like “you should be ashamed” and “tasteless.”

The company quickly deleted the tweet and issued an apology: “We apologize to anyone who felt our post was in poor taste. The image was solely meant to pay respect to those affected by the 9/11 tragedy.” The normally very active account went quiet for an hour and a half, but is back up and running, responding to customer concerns.

It seems as though Twitter users will “never forget” AT&T’s blunder – people are still reposting the offending photo and slamming the company.

One Marriott hotel embarrassed the company by offering mini muffins and coffee in remembrance of 9/11.  Credit: Twitter
One Marriott hotel embarrassed the company by offering mini muffins and coffee in remembrance of 9/11.
Credit: Twitter

AT&T isn’t the only company to commit a marketing “don’t” today. One Twitter user posted a photo of a sign from a Marriott Hotel that was offering free coffee and mini muffins “in remembrance of those we lost on 9/11,” in this case sparking more jokes and general befuddlement than anger. Marriott also issued an apology saying, “We are reminding our hotels to use discretion and be sensitive when remembering major events such as 9/11.”



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