In what may go down as the most misguided attempt at marketing in modern history, Miracle Mattress in San Antonio, Texas, produced and ran a Facebook Live commercial advertising their “Twin Towers sale” by making light of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York.
In the television spot, a Miracle Mattress employee, identified by the Dallas Morning News as manager Cherise Bonanno, along with two male employees, tells the audience the store is commemorating 9/11 with a sale on all mattresses for a “twin price.” Behind them, mattresses are stacked in side-by-side piles mimicking the World Trade Center towers that fell after being struck by planes piloted by terrorists.
When Bonanno throws her arms up and says, “Store-wide sale, all day long,” the two men behind her fall back into the mattress piles, making them collapse. After screaming in mock horror, Bonanno turns back to the camera and says, “We’ll never forget”:
On 8 September 2016, Miracle Mattress owner Mike Bonanno posted an apology letter to the company’s Facebook page:
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.
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.
The store’s owner told San Antonio television station WOAI that they closed on 8 September 2016 out of fear over “several” death threats they had received. The company also vowed to donate 30 percent of sales over the anniversary weekend to the 9/11 Foundation. A tearful Cherise Bonanno also apologized and said the ad was “stupid:”
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… 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.
The video has since been deleted, but not before someone filmed it and posted it to YouTube, where it has sparked an outpouring of rage on social media. Ricky Douglas wrote on the company’s Facebook page:
I remember when 9/11 happened all Americans banded together to heal after the tragedy and it was a beautiful moment during a hard time.
Now some years have passed and we are all going our separate ways again. UNTIL NOW! We’ve all joined each other in arms to destroy this company. Thank you Miracle Mattress!
Just under 3,000 people were killed (including hundreds of members of the New York City Fire and Police departments) and thousands more injured in the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings in New York City.