Walmart Is Getting Criticism for This 9/11 Display

September 7th 2016

The upcoming 15-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks is on the minds of many right now. In memory of the tragic day, a Walmart store in Florida created a display of Coke boxes in the form of the Twin Towers in front of the colors of the U.S. flag, and a lot of people have raised hell about the image on Twitter.

Twitter user Shawn Richard drew attention to the Panama City Beach set-up on Tuesday by sharing a photo of it:

“We stopped and stared at it like, oh my god,” Richard, who took the photo while vacationing in Florida, told BuzzFeed News. “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.”

Though some Twitter users cracked jokes about the display, many criticized Wal-Mart for exploiting 9/11 to sell soda. 

A spokesperson for Walmart told the Orlando Weekly on Wednesday that the display was being taken down, and that Coke usually provides display suggestions for its products. The Orlando Weekly reported that Walmart approved the idea for the 9/11-centered display.

Walmart isn't the only brand to have used tragic historic events to promote business.

For example, Adweek reported that the clothing brand Tied to the South tried to earn one retweet for every victim of the 9/11 attacks. The tweet was promptly deleted.

As noted by the Orlando Weekly, SpaghettiOs faced backlash in 2013 after sharing a photo of its mascot holding the American flag for the 72nd anniversary of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.

[H/T BuzzFeed]

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