A Texas mattress store’s ad mocking September 11 has caused outrage, and the owner of the business has apologized and pulled the ad, CBC News is reporting.
Miracle Mattress of San Antonio posted the 20-second ad on their Facebook page, but has since removed it. However, several users made copies of the ad and posted them to YouTube; you can watch one of those copies in the video below.
For those who can’t or won’t watch videos: the video opens with a woman, later identified by the Dallas Morning News as manager Cherise Bonanno, cheerfully connecting the events of September 11 to an upcoming sale.
“What better way to remember 9/11 than with a Twin Tower sale?”
Two men then fall into stacks of mattresses, knocking them over in the process.
“We’ll never forget.”
Needless to say, the ad drew heated outrage on social media. The words “tasteless,” “sickening,” and similar pejoratives were used on social media, and more than one user expressed their desire to see the mattress store go out of business, according to BBC News.
@MiracleMattress @NightRTs how dare you air this!!! Your store-manager looks like she swallowed a mattress! pic.twitter.com/gfv3FcA9h0
— DomGianna Max (@DomGiannaMax) September 9, 2016
Not long after it was put up, the mattress store ad was taken down, and a man identifying himself as Mike Bonano, owner of Miracle Mattress, posted an apology.
The Miracle Mattress owner has made an apology for the firm’s 9/11 ad, but it appears to star a relative of his. pic.twitter.com/pqcMNxr7dg
— Josh Jackman (@josh_jackman) September 9, 2016
If the owner’s last name, Bonanno, rings a bell to you, it’s because that is the same last name of the woman who appears in the September 11 ad. Several social media users have pointed out that it was Bonanno’s daughter who created the ad. One user even mentioned that Cherise Bonanno is Miracle Mattress’ director of advertising and social media.
Similarly, it doesn’t look like Bonanno’s apology is holding much weight; in a thread discussing the owner’s apology, several readers are suggesting that his apology is insincere at best, or too-little-too-late at worst.
Mike Trodden: As a lifelong San Antonio resident and veteran with multiple deployments you are disgrace and an embarrassment to the city of San Antonio. Employees reflect the attitudes and the culture built by their leaders. There is no excuse or fix for this idiocy. Close the doors.
It appears that Texas mattress retailers aren’t the only businesses not afraid to mine the events of September 11, 2001, for sales pitches. As WJW-TV (Cleveland) reports, a Florida Walmart drew backlash for a September 11-themed soda display.
Florida c’mon man pic.twitter.com/HU4y2rxgFG
— Shawn (@online_shawn) September 6, 2016
Just who is responsible for the September 11-themed display, which was put up in a Panama City Walmart, is a matter of dispute. Walmart spokesperson Charles Crowson says that beverage manufacturers – in this case, Coke – typically approach Walmart managers about display ideas. So this one may not necessarily have come from a Walmart manager, but it was definitely approved by one. It has since been taken down.
Offensive commercials aren’t limited to September 11, of course, although the term “offensive” is subjective, and what’s offensive to you may not necessarily be offensive to me. Nevertheless, some commercials to have come out in recent years have struck the wrong notes with certain viewers.
An example from recent memory is that of a 2013 Volkswagen commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. In it, a white man from Minnesota speaks with a thick Jamaican accent, oblivious to the fact that it’s jarring to everyone around him. (NOTE: The clip below is a parody that tacks on a different ending at the end, but the idea still stands.)
Depending on whom you ask, the ad is either horribly racist and presents Jamaicans as lazy, or it’s a tongue-in-cheek look at the jarring juxtaposition of a white guy with a thick Caribbean accent.
Still, making light of cultural stereotypes is one thing. Making light of the deaths of almost 3,000 people in a coordinated series of terrorist attacks is another.
Do you believe the Texas mattress store’s apology for the offensive September 11 ad is enough?
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]