A Texas mattress company has issued an apology after viewers were outraged by a 20-second advertisement which depicts two stacks of twin mattress getting knocked over in a mimicry of the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
The ad was created by the San Antonio branch of Miracle Mattress and shows the store manager, Cherise Bonanno, asking, “What better way to remember 9/11 than with a Twin Towers sale?”
After two employees knock over the mattresses, Bonanno says: “We’ll never forget.”
The ad was posted to the store’s social media account on Thursday, Sept. 8, three days before the anniversary of the attacks, with the hashtags #worldtradecenter and #twinsale.
One viewer told ABC affiliate KSAT 12that the video “struck a nerve” the moment she watched it.
“It really upset me. I felt like people really need to know that this is not okay,” Jenee Lewis, who comes from a military family, told the KSAT 12.
On the company’s Facebook page, people vigorously condemned the video, calling for the immediate dismissal of the employees involved.
“It was stupid,” Bonanno told NBC affiliate News4SanAntonio. “We apologize for our stupidity and we really hope you forgive us for what we’ve done.”
Both the Bonanno and the company’s owner have apologized for the incident.
Mike Bonanno, owner of Miracle Mattress, apologized and called the ad “tasteless and an affront to the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11.”
He said the ad was posted without his knowledge.
“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,” the statement on Facebook reads.
He says the store will be will be reviewing its marketing strategy and will “engage a personnel review to hold these employees accountable for their actions.”
An earlier version of the apology letter claimed their “staff is full of military and some relatives have passed away due to 9/11,” reports TIME.com, but it was removed from Miracle Mattress’ Facebook page.
The company will also be donating 30 per cent of its weekend sales to the 9/11 Foundation, according to News4SanAntonio.