AT&T has removed a Twitter message commemorating the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks after social media users criticized the company for capitalizing on the event to promote its own products.
The company’s message showed a smartphone user taking a picture of the Tribute in Light memorial in New York City. Many on Twitter had a quick and negative response to the picture, calling it “tacky,” “gross” and saying that this was no time for “product placement.”
The wireless carrier took down the message approximately an hour after it was first posted, and apologized for any offense it may have caused.
“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 company said in a subsequent message.
Twitter users were not impressed by the apology, calling it disingenuous.
“ [This] is what we call a ‘fauxpology,’” one user told the firm.
Last week, the satirical news site The Onion also faced backlash for mocking up a false ad for Subway restaurants with the tagline “Fly on in for Subtember 11.” That prompted a Twitter message from the restaurant chain’s genuine Twitter account. “Like everyone, we are deeply offended by the fake story and ad created by The Onion,” the company said.