An effort by a Florida Walmart to use the upcoming 15th anniversary of 9/11 to market Coca-Cola products backfired as social media users mocked the store’s use of soda products to represent the twin towers.
“Walmart, this is disgusting and unacceptable,” wrote Eric Kabakoff on Twitter, one of many commenters. “I will not be shopping in your stores again.”
“A new low in low,” wrote Cheryl Claussen.
A Walmart spokesperson told the Orlando Weekly that Coca-Cola had approached the retailer with the idea. Walmart officials decided to take down the display after the social media backlash.
The effort is not the first time a brand has used 9/11 as a marketing ploy. In one particularly egregious example reported by the Washington Post, an Alabama clothing company posted on Twitter asking users to share the image 2,296 times—once for every life lost. The tweet was later deleted.