Culture

Mattress store's September 11 ad appalls the web

Technically Incorrect: A San Antonio mattress store offers a special September 11 promotion. Few sleep easily after seeing it.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Miraculous disrespect?

Tu Bui Anh/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Sometimes disrespect can be accidental.

"I didn't mean it," might occasionally have some meaning.

But please look at this ad and wonder whether anything can possibly excuse it.

Here is Miracle Mattress. This San Antonio, Texas, store decided to hold a promotion. Mattress stores seem to do this nonstop.

This promotion, however, wasn't entirely soothing. The ad that accompanied it certainly wasn't.

Captured by a viewer and reposted many times to YouTube, it featured a woman and two men. The theme? Why, the Twin Tower Sale.

Yes, to commemorate one of America's most painful moments, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Miracle Mattress was offering "any size mattress for a twin price."

Of course there were two piles of mattresses representing the Twin Towers. And of course they fell to the ground during the ad. The two men collapsed backward, as the presenter spread her arms wide to express the miraculous nature of the special offer.

You will have already reached the denouement yourself. As the mattress towers collapse, the woman looks at the camera and sincerely says: "We will never forget."

On its Facebook page, Miracle Mattress's owner, Mike Bonanno offered an apology. Writing on Thursday, he said: "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."

Few could have imagined that 9/11 would one day be described as an incentive. Still, Bonanno insisted that this video was made without his knowledge or approval.

"The video is tasteless and an affront to the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11," he said. He added that those responsible would be held to account.

Facebook commenters weren't buying his apology.

"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 !" wrote Diane Stevens Liotta.

But then there was this from Shelly Kay Rowland: "The girl in the video is the owner's DAUGHTER! STOP with the BS apologies, they are just as pathetic and tasteless as the ad was! Do yourself a favor and close your doors. You're DONE!"

Indeed, the ad's unforgettable presenter was Cherise Bonanno.

Miracle Mattress didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Twitter hashtag #MiracleMattress was also replete with disgust, with one commenter wondering whether the next ad would use the Chicago shootings as its incentive.

Those of a forgiving nature might say that this is just a relatively small mattress store.

They might be moved by Cherise Bonanno telling KABB-TV: "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."

They might also point to the joint promotion from Coca-Cola and Walmart in a Panama City, Florida, store that featured cans of Coke products also representing the Twin Towers. The point of this? A $3.33 rollback promotion.

Perhaps social media forgets these things quickly. It moves onto the next outrage.

I wonder, though, how Miracle Mattress's business might fare this weekend.