Texas mattress store closes after 'disgusting' 9/11 sale video
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By Jon Herskovitz
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas mattress store that used bedding to stage a mock collapse of New York City's Twin Towers in an ad for a Sept. 11 sale on Friday said it was closing after facing a barrage of criticism that described the pitch as tasteless and offensive.
In the social media video ad that has since been pulled by San Antonio's Miracle Mattress, a woman appears on screen with two men standing by stacks of bedding. The woman says: "What better way to remember 9/11 than with a Twin Tower sale. Right now you can get any sized mattress for a twin price."
The men knock over the towers of bedding, and the woman says: "Oh my God," lets out a small scream, and says, "We will never forget."
On Sept. 11, 2001, two hijacked planes were slammed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center. A third plane was flown into the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and a fourth crashed in a Pennsylvania field. More than 2,600 people were killed.
The store's owner apologized for the ad on Thursday and said on Friday the San Antonio store will be closed indefinitely.
"We take full responsibility for our actions and sincerely regret the hurt and pain caused by this disrespectful advertising campaign," owner Mike Bonanno said in a letter posted on the company's Facebook page on Friday.
A day earlier on Facebook, he wrote on the same page, "the video is tasteless and an affront to the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11."
The apology seemed to fuel anger, with many comments pointing out that the woman in the ad is a family member of the owner. Many chastised the company for making a joke about the worst attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941.
"Even your damage control is disgusting. You deserve to go out of business," Ozzy Santos, who lives in San Antonio, wrote in a comment on Facebook ahead of the closing.
A few people said they respected his decision to close.
"It appears to me, based on yesterday's apology and today's letter, you are a man of integrity and honor," Diane Milligan, wrote on the company's Facebook page.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Andrew Hay)
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