Friday, 20 May 2011

United Airlines branded insensitive after placing advert at Ground Zero

 

United Airlines has been criticised for the placement of an advert at the New York Ground Zero site, which simply reads: 'You're going to like where we land.'

The printed advert,  which stands a matter of feet away from where United Airlines flight 175 struck the south tower of the World Trade Centre on September 11, has been branded insensitive by many New Yorkers.

The placement of the sign, on a light pole at the top of stairs that lead down to the Cortlandt Street subway station, was approved by the Metropolitan Transport Authority.

Poor placement: The United Airlines advert, with the Ground Zero constriction site clearly visible just across the road, has been branded insensitive by New Yorkers

Poor placement: The United Airlines advert, with the Ground Zero constriction site clearly visible just across the road, has been branded insensitive by New Yorkers

An MTA spokesman said it was a third-party vendor that put up the sign, and the advert was part of a wider campaign for United.

It's one-line message was supposed to be a teaser in the larger campaign.

The airline is already on the back foot after being forced to apologise for another seemingly insensitive act.

It apologised on Wednesday for briefly restarting the use of flight numbers 175 and 93 - both involved in the 2001 terror attacks. The numbers were mistakenly assigned to two flights by Continental Airlines - which is undergoing a merger with United.

Already in trouble: United was forced to apologise on Wednesday after a 'technical error' lead to the airline re-introducing flight numbers 93 and 175 into their fleet. Both flight numbers were used in 9/11 attacks

 

Spokesman Rahsaan Johnson blamed the reuse of the flight numbers on a 'technical error'. He said the airline has taken steps to have the numbers removed from its computers.

An MTA spokesman said the authority had contacted the vendor 'to remove the ad from that location as soon as possible'.

A United Airlines spokesman said the airline was not aware of the ad's placement, and said it was part of a campaign that was launched in March.

NBC New York interviewed pedestrians at the site of the advert yesterday.

Many said the advert's message was not deliberately controversial, but became more poignant and insensitive because of it's placement.

Annette Guadalupe of Ozone Park, Queens, said: 'It brings back very bad memories of 9/11 and I don't think this is an appropriate place for that kind of sign. I think they should be more considerate of the people who died here.'

United Airlines branded insensitive after placing advert at Ground Zero site, saying: 'You're going to like where we land' | Mail Online

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