It's impossible for a huge company with a well-staffed ad department to do some kind of tie-in to 9/11—perhaps the worst tragedy in American history—and avoid accusations of tastelessness. It's absolutely insane for a small business to go anywhere near the subject.
Miracle Mattress in San Antonio, Texas proved just how dumb they could be recently when they posted the cringe-inducing spot above online. The attempt to tie a mattress sale in with the 15th anniversary of 9/11 brought immediate and fierce criticism in the form of an avalanche of angry Facebook comments. As a result, Miracle Mattress owner Mike Bonanno was forced to post an apology on the company's page.
It's to Bonanno's credit that as apologies go, this is a pretty solid one. His company will also donate 30 percent of the profits made from the 9/11 weekend mattress sales to the 9/11 Foundation.
Maybe a good tip for anyone who wants to do any kind of ad campaign tied to the anniversary of 9/11/01 is this: don't.