Marketers including AT&T are getting schooled on the fact that jumping in on the social conversation around national tragedies is not the safest arena for real-time marketing.
A handful of brands are being smacked around today for posting 9/11 commemoration tweets perceived as inane at best and insensitive at worst.
AT&T received the brunt of the outrage after tweeting a picture of the beams of light shooting up from the Twin Towers site, captured in the screen of a phone that's poised to take a photo, with the text "Never Forget."
The tweet was promptly removed, and AT&T 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.— AT&T (@ATT) September 11, 2013
While AT&T's post was the most overt as an ad, plenty of other brands -- including Waffle House, Huggies, Red Lobster, Macy's, Walgreens and White Castle, as chronicled in a series of retweets by comedian Joe Mande -- offered up sentiments of remembrance on the 12-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
We will always remember. http://t.co/bQs2LH4WCP— Walgreens (@Walgreens) September 11, 2013
Hug your family. Reflect on the sunset. Look forward to the sunrise. Hold your head high. Imagine a better world. And #NeverForget 9/11/2001— Macy's (@Macys) September 11, 2013