AT&T took a beating on social media Wednesday for posting a tweet with an image of a BlackBerry Z10 phone taking a photo of the two columns of light at Ground Zero.
The company issued a blanket apology from its Twitter account yesterday to those offended by what some saw as an insensitive attempt to use a national tragedy to promote AT&T’s brand.
Now, AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson has issued a personal apology of his own. In a statement posted on the company’s consumer blog, Stephenson offered his heartfelt apologies, and said that while social media offers a great platform for the company to communicate with the public, its post Wednesday “fell woefully short of honouring the lives lost on that tragic day.”
Here’s the full statement:
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 honour those impacted by the events of 9/11. Unfortunately, the image used in the post fell woefully short of honouring 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.
— Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO
Here’s the tweet that people found so upsetting yesterday:
And here’s AT&T’s original Twitter apology:
We apologise to anyone who felt our post was in poor taste. The image was solely meant to pay respect to those affected by the 9/11 tragedy.
— AT&T (@ATT) September 11, 2013
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