Walmart have come under fire for a shockingly insensitive marketing display using soda cans as a tribute to 9/11.
Just days ahead of the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the US, a Walmart in Florida stacked packages of soft drinks to look like the twin towers with the message “We Will Never Forget.”
The World Trade Center towers were destroyed and thousands were killed when two hijacked planes crashed into the towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
The soda featured in the crass display was on sale for $3.33.
Outraged shopper Shawn Richard tweeted a photo of the tacky marketing fail and said: “Florida c’mon man,”
Talking to BuzzFeed Shawn later said: “ “We stopped and stared at it like, oh my god.
“Nobody seemed to be noticing it, it wasn’t very crowded and I got the feeling that it had just been assembled.
“So we took some pics and went on our way.”
A printed sign hung above the display advertising Walmart’s rollback prices for the soft drinks.
Another sign hanging above the display read “We will never forget” with a photo of the twin towers and the logos for Walmart and Coca-Cola.
All of the sodas that were part of the crass display were Coca-Cola products.
Following an online outcry Walmart dismantled the display but not before it caused a furore online.
The display was criticized on Twitter as insensitive and exploitive.
@online_shawn @JMoneyMC this is one of the lamest things I’ve ever seen
— Nitro Rad (@NitroRad) September 6, 2016
In a statement, the firm said “there was nothing disrespectful intended by the display,” insisting: “We hold this moment in our country’s history in the highest regard.”
Coca-Cola also apologised and said the display had been intended to honour local firefighters.
It’s certainly not the first time a brand has failed at “commemorating” the anniversary.
In 2013, AT&T tweeted an image of a phone snapping a picture of the World Trade Center’s tribute lights.
They quickly deleted and tweeted an apology.
Build-A-Bear also came under fire when they tweeted — then deleted — a photo of a camouflage-patterned bear wearing an Army uniform.