A Texas Mattress store has been subjected to intense backlash after an unwise decision to use imagery from the September 11 terror attacks in a bid to advertise their “Twin Tower” sale and has now closed indefinitely.
With two stacks of mattresses towering behind them, three Miracle Mattress employees appeared in the video announcing the sale. In the ad, which appeared on Facebook, Cherise Bonanno says, “What better way to remember 9/11 than with the twin tower sale?
Bonanno is the store manager, according to Dallas News.
At the end of the ad, two male employees behind Bonanno fall back onto the mattresses, knocking them over as Bonanno mockingly screams. Before the video cuts out, she says: "We will never forget."
The company also tweeted a link to the Facebook ad.
Outrage towards the video was swift. The store closed Thursday due to death threats, WOAI reported.
The video has since been taken down, but has resurfaced on YouTube. It now has more than 900,000 views.
Mike Bonnano, who owns the store and is reportedly Cherise’s father, wrote an apology letter that was posted to the Miracle Mattress Facebook page later Thursday.
“Today, I was made aware of a social media video produced by our San Antonio team highlighting a promotional sale using the upcoming 9/11 anniversary as the incentive. The video was posted on Facebook without my knowledge or approval from our corporate office in Houston,” read the letter.
“I say this unequivocally, with sincere regret: the video is tasteless and an affront to the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11. 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.”
Despite the apology, Facebook commenters let loose on Miracle Mattress and their ad.
“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,” one comment read.
On Friday, Cherise Bonanno resurfaced to offer her own apology
Speaking to WOAI, she said: “We are not hate, we are love. We are somebody that stands out, we are Miracle Mattress. We make miracles happen. And for our lives to be in danger — that is not what we ever wanted.”
She added: "It was stupid, it was a stupid idea that we sent out and we apologize for our stupidity and we really hope that you forgive us for what we have done,” she said.
The company also vowed to donate 30 percent of sales over the anniversary weekend to the 9/11 Foundation, according to Dallas News.