Golf course hit by criticism for 9/11 promotion
Tumbledown Trails in Wisconsin has come under fire, with its owner reportedly receiving death threats, for offering 9 holes of golf for $9.11 on the anniversary of the terror attacks.
Was it crass commercialism, historical insensitivity or just being tone deaf to the times? Whatever the reason, a family-owned golf course in Wisconsin is coming under intense criticism for its special 9/11 offer.
In a local newspaper ad, the Tumbledown Trails Golf Course near Madison offered to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks by offering nine holes of golf, with a cart, for $9.11 per person -- "or 18 holes with cart for only $19.11!"
The offer was good only on Wednesday, Sept. 11.
Tumbledown's owner and general manager, Marc Watts, told The Associated Press the course's 9/11 promotion actually began two years ago and had been warmly received. But this year, social media helped spread the ad, and anger over the promotion began to pop up in a variety of places. And despite several apologies on the golf course's Facebook (FB) page, the anger remains.
"Shame in you all for even contemplating making money on our country's worst tragedy," wrote one recent poster. "You deserve all the backlash you get from this!"
Another added this: "I'm astounded that a group of marketing professionals would come up with such an obvious and incredibly offensive idea, and, even more astounded that you would sign off on it. Good luck to you -- you're certainly going to need it."
MSN moneyNOW tried to contact Watts for his side of the story. While that call was not returned, the golf course did have the following message on its voice mail:
"We are no longer accepting tee times for Wednesday, 9/11," it said. "Please accept our sincere apologies. Our attempt to remember the tragedy of this day has been met with negativity and now even death threats. We ask that you please take a moment to reflect and remember those that we lost that day, as we were trying to do. God bless and have a good day."
Advertising professionals say there's a right way and a wrong way for companies to mark somber anniversaries and not be called out as disrespectful and opportunistic.
Greg Wagner, advertising professor at the University of Denver's Daniels College of Business and a former creative director at several large ad agencies, points to a television advertisement Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) released on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. A team of Budweiser Clydesdale horses saluted Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, the site of the attacks on the New York World Trade Center.
"That was seen, at least from everything I heard, as the right way," said Wagner. "And they only ran it once. It was like, 'OK, we're not out here to sell beer, we're out here to pay tribute to the victims as well as to the heroes.'"
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Reports say the generous benefactor behind the huge gratuities is a former PayPal executive.
- Chinese investors are buying up Detroit
- Mega Millions jackpot hits $344 million
- 5 reasons to think twice about a balance transfer card
- Will I have to pay taxes because of a foreclosed home?
- 5 things that won't affect your credit scores
- The 7 deadly sins of winter driving
- 8 questions to ask before Mom and Dad move in
- High deductibles fuel new worries of Obamacare sticker shock
- How to use your credit card to donate to charity
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages spent the entire session in a steady downtrend, but despite persistent selling pressure, today's losses were limited in scope. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq shed between 0.2% and 0.3% while the Russell 2000 lagged, falling 0.9%.
The underperformance of the Russell 2000 was likely owed in part to tax-loss selling, which tends to pick up this time of year. Small-caps often feel that pinch in a stronger fashion than large-cap issues since individual ... More
More Market News
John Stumpf acknowledges that growth has been slow, but he says he's still optimistic.