A San Antonio, Texas-based mattress store is closing until further notice after its ad appeared to poke fun at the World Trade Center terror attacks went badly.
While Americans mourned the 15-year anniversary of September 11, Miracle Mattress is mulling over the backlash and outrage sparked by its “stupid” decision to run the commercial on social media, according to a Cubiclane News report.
A video that appeared on the mattress store’s Facebook page featured three employees who announced a 9/11 “Twin Tower” sale to the public, as Fox News wrote on the latest developments. Although the video has since been deleted, several users captured the footage and shared them on several sites.
Cherise Bonanno is the manager of the mattress company under fire. Two men, who are shown standing by two piles of mattresses, flank her in the commercial.
— UPROXX (@UPROXX) September 10, 2016
Bonanno offers details of the blowout sale before saying, “What better way to remember 9/11 than with a Twin Tower sale?” She then feigns falling backward on the two men who crash into the pile of twin mattresses in an animated fashion. She ends with a sullen look on her face and says, “We’ll never forget,” a reference to the de facto memorial slogan to the horrific attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives.
What reportedly began as a simple marketing strategy that used a dark moment in history as the theme of its sale turned into the store closing. On Thursday, Mike Bonanno, the mattress business’ owner, issued a statement of apology on their social media page and announced a temporary shuttering.
“Today, I was made aware of a social media video produced by our San Antonio team highlighting a promotional sale using the upcoming 9/11 Anniversary as the incentive. The video was posted on Facebook without my knowledge or approval from our corporate office in Houston.
“I say this unequivocally, with sincere regret: the video is tasteless and an affront to the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11. Furthermore, it disrespects the families who lost their loved ones and continue to struggle with the pain of this tragedy every day of their lives.”
Bonanno refers to the mattress ad as a “thoughtless and crude advertisement.” He also pledged to hold the persons responsible for running the ad accountable.
— Kenny Zimlinghaus (@Kennyzimlinghau) September 9, 2016
Sources confirmed that the manager in the video is the owner’s daughter. The emotional woman spoke to local reporters about the fallout from the advertisement amid reports of the company receiving death threats.
“We are not hate, we are love, we are somebody that stands out, we are miracle mattress, we make miracles happen. And for our lives to be in danger that is not what we ever wanted. It was stupid, it was a stupid idea that we sent out and we apologize for our stupidity and we really hope that you forgive us for what we have done.”
Based on the comments on the company’s public page on Facebook, the majority of readers are incensed by the mattress ad and advocates the store closing permanently. Many describe Miracle’s Twin Towers ad as “stupid,” “offensive,” “unfortunate,” and “callous,” among other things.
Eric Campbell offered a different take on the uproar from the September 11-themed ad and the kerfuffle that emerged in its wake.
“Personally, I dont [sic] think its right for everyone to call on destroying this guys business because his daughter did such a dumb thing. She should be fired of course but that should end it. You can tell this guy was blind sided. If he continues to keep her employed, then yes, he condoned what she did (imho) [sic]…if he fires her, leave the man alone. His entire life should not be destroyed for the dumb act of his daughter. Just my thought.”
The day after apologizing for his company’s missteps, the owner announced the next steps.
“Effective immediately, our Miracle Mattress store will be closed indefinitely. We will be silent through the 9/11 Anniversary to avoid any further distractions from a day of recognition and remembrance for the victims and their families. We take full responsibility for our actions and sincerely regret the hurt and pain caused by this disrespectful advertising campaign.”
Bonanno added that while his company cannot erase the past mistakes, he intends to make a public apology after the anniversary. There, he will outline how he plans to donate a portion of their sales to 9/11 survivors and the official memorial that honors the dead.
Recently, a Walmart store in Florida came under a similar attack for a controversial ad. A Panama City Beach store was pressured into taking down a display that, according to patrons, was an “absurd” display of honoring the fallen victims of the September 11 attacks. Coca-Cola and Sprite cases were arranged to resemble the American flag in the backdrop of others that were assembled to mimic the twin towers felled by commercial jets under terrorist control.
[Photo via Inside Edition/YouTube]