Tiptoeing through 9/11 marketing

Colleague Eric Ringham has turned in another 9/11-themed ad. This one appeared in this morning’s Star Tribune. Curiously, the three area 9/11-themed promotions have involved either booze or food. There’s been very little advertising locally that acknowledges 9/11 without trying to bring in a few more customers in the process.


“We’ve been saying to people, there’s probably no right way to do this,” said J. Walker Smith, executive chairman at the Futures Company consultancy, which is to release this month a report on public attitudes toward 9/11. He was quoted in a recent article in the New York Times on how advertisers are just now dipping a toe in the 9/11 advertising water. “If I were a marketer, I would let the moment pass,” Mr. Smith said. “Anything you do could be seen as self-serving or disrespectful.”

The worst 9/11-themed ad ever was this one in 2009 from the World Wildlife Fund-Brazil.

But what about an ad like this? It aired only once:

But there’s also this: A New York winery selling 9/11 wine for $19.11.