AT&T experienced some heavy backlash on Twitter yesterday, after it posted an image of a smartphone user capturing a photograph of the ‘Tribute in Light‘ art installation next to the former site of the World Trade Center.
Today, Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO, issued an apology.
“We’re big believers that social media is a great way to engage with our customers because the conversation is constant, personal and dynamic.
Yesterday, we did a post on social media intended to honor those impacted by the events of 9/11. Unfortunately, the image used in the post fell woefully short of honoring the lives lost on that tragic day.
I want to personally express to our customers, employees, and all those impacted by the events of 9/11 my heartfelt apologies. I consider that date a solemn occasion each year, a time when I reach out to those I was with on that awful day, share a moment of reflection for the lives lost and express my love of country. It is a day that should never be forgotten and never, ever commercialized. I commit AT&T to this standard as we move forward.”
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The image, posted with the caption ‘Never Forget’ as a tribute to the events of 9/11, was pulled from AT&T’s Twitter account roughly an hour after it was posted. By that point though, many users had already criticized the company for taking advantage of the date to market its own goods and services.