In the most tasteless story about the attacks of September 11, 2001 since Steve Rannazzisi admitted to lying about being there, someone from Coke built a model World Trade Center in a Florida Walmart to “commemorate” 9/11. (And no, it’s not just tasteless because the Towers are made of Coke Zero.)
The story first broke when this tweet went viral:
In the tweet, a user by the name of @online_shawn photographs a display in a Panama City, Florida, Walmart. The display consists of an American flag made of Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite, a banner reading “WE WILL NEVER FORGET,” a Rollback price advertisement, and, most concerning of all, Twin Towers made of Coke Zero.
This display would already be tacky if it were just the flag and banner. After all, they’re using 9/11 imagery to get you to swell with patriotism and, what the hell, buy some soda while you’re at it. But the addition of the actual Twin Towers catapults this display into a whole new stratosphere of insensitive. Thirsty for Coke Zero? Guess you’ll have to dismantle the World Trade Center, just like al Qaeda did on that tragic day.
It’s not really offensive so much as it is tasteless and dumb. The odds are good that whoever came up with this didn’t consider the implications of 1. using a major national tragedy to advertise soda, and 2. requiring consumers to re-destroy the Twin Towers to drink Coke Zero, and just wanted to commemorate the occasion the best way they knew how.
Still, Walmart spokesman Charles Crowson told Orlando Weekly that the display has since been taken down. Guess we’ll just have to remember 9/11 without Coke’s help.
What do you think? Was this display in poor taste, or was it a sincere effort? Let us know in the comments below or @WhatsTrending on Twitter!