Brands’ commemorations of 9/11 meet varied reactions

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The anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has become a national day of
remembrance. As such, marketers must tread lightly. What could start as
something meant to honor those who lost their lives on this national day
of mourning could quickly become a PR nightmare.

We can’t blame Marriott corporate, but we can point the finger at
whichever Marriott location decided free mini-muffins and coffee were an
appropriate way to commemorate this day:

AT&T also caught the ire of several Twitter users when it tweeted a photo that has since been taken down. GeekWire
has the full story and the vitriol—oh, the vitriol—that followed the
photo, which featured an AT&T phone displaying the skyline of
Manhattan with lights beaming from where the Twin Towers stood.

The company came back with this apology:

Other brands used similar tacks and didn’t see the backlash AT&T provoked. There was American Express:

This sentiment shared by Macy’s was well-received:

On Facebook, Lowe’s Home Improvement was praised for its post as well:

Several more brands simply shared “thoughts and prayers” or encouraged their audience to “never forget.”

It’s interesting to see, however, that some brands—because of who they
are—aren’t taken seriously when they tweet about remembering the
victims. Huggies, for example, was lambasted by its followers for a
tweet that resembled what other brands put out:

Perhaps people just don’t like to think of diapers and 9/11 at the same time.

Maybe Sherwin Williams had the best approach. It announced it would refrain from tweeting at all Wednesday:

Meanwhile, Esquire found itself on the Twitter hot
seat, not for a promotional push, but over a mistaken photo placement.
Somehow, a picture of a man falling from the World Trade Center that was
supposed to accompany an archive piece about that specific image ended
up associated with an article on commuting:
(Image via & via

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