AT&T Slammed On Social Media For 9/11 Marketing Move

By Joanna Stern - ABC News
By Emma Koch - 21Alive

Credit: ABCNews

AT&T Slammed On Social Media For 9/11 Marketing Move

September 11, 2013 Updated Sep 11, 2013 at 1:59 PM EST

UNITED STATES (ABC News) -- Across social media today you'll see many commemorating the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The hashtags #wherewereyou, #World Trade Center and #Remember911 have been trending in the U.S. and there have been thousands of tweets about the tragedy. But one tweet from AT&T has been sparking its own discussion and criticism.

On its Facebook and Twitter accounts, AT&T shared a photo this morning of a phone with picture of the memorial lights for the Twin Towers on its screen with the caption "Never Forget." It has since been taken down, though not before it accrued more than 300 retweets and 400 shares on Facebook. Along with many of those shares came loud criticism of the company for using the tragedy as a marketing opportunity.

"AT&T's attempt at 9/11 product placement earns unanimous jeers," @nycsouthpaw tweeted. "Not an occasion for product placement, AT&T," @laureni said. "Thanks, AT&T. 9/11 finally has meaning," @jesse taylor said sarcastically on Twitter.

The same was heard on Facebook."You just didn't have to include product placement. The same image without the phone would have been 100% acceptable," Paul Shapiro said. "Shame on you, AT&T" was posted a few times. "Very tasteless, AT&T. Can you not post one photo to pay honor without trying to advertise something?" Sara Zabek said.

After about an hour, AT&T took note of the criticism, pulled down the tweet and apologized.

"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 tweeted after pulling down the original image. However, the image and screen caps of it continue to be retweeted and posted on websites.

The Internet, it turns out, also never forgets.




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