The owner of a Texas mattress store has closed his store after apologizing for what he called a “tasteless” Ad promoting a 9/11 anniversary sale.
The 20-second spot from Miracle Mattress advertised a “Twin Tower sale” just days ahead of the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed almost 3,000 on Sept. 11, 2001.
The video opens with a woman, who has been identified as Cherise Bonanno, store manager and daughter of the company’s owner, offering any sized mattress for the price of a twin-sized set. Towards the end of the commercial, Bonanno flings her arms back and bumps into two men standing behind her. The men fall back into two tall stacks of mattresses – one topped with an American flag – knocking them over. Bonanno expresses her mock horror before looking at the camera and saying “we’ll never forget.”
The ad – which has since been removed from the Miracle Mattress Facebook page – spread quickly on social media and criticism poured in.
“I am a New Yorker and live in Manhattan. That horrible day will stay with me forever. I cannot believe that anyone in their right mind could ever think it’s OK to mock that tragedy,” Diane Stevens Liotta wrote on the company’s Facebook page. “Not only is the video an affront to the people who lost their lives, but also to the people who grieved with the families of loved ones lost.”
Bonanno’s father, Miracle Mattress owner Mike Bonanno, has since issued an apology, saying the video was produced by San Antonio store workers and posted to Facebook without his knowledge or approval from the company’s corporate office in Houston.
“All I can say is I am deeply sorry and on behalf of the entire Miracle Mattress family, I accept responsibility for this thoughtless and crude advertisement and will immediately hold my employees accountable for this serious lapse of decency,” Mike Bonanno said.
Bonnano said the company will hold a personnel review of those involved in the production of the commercial and is reviewing its social media marketing policies.
Christopher B. Taub