Texas mattress store to reopen after 9/11 ad ignites criticism

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The Texas mattress store that shut its doors after being pilloried for a social media ad where staff used bedding to stage a mock collapse of New York City’s Twin Towers to promote a Sept. 11 sale has decided to reopen.

“We believe our best path forward is to reopen as soon as possible, following the hiring of new staff and training,” Mike Bonanno, the owner of Miracle Mattress in San Antonio, wrote in a Facebook post late on Thursday. He again apologized for the ad, which he described as offensive and disrespectful.

The ad referred to the 15th anniversary of four hijacked planes’ attacks, the worst on U.S. soil since the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.

No date was given for when the store will reopen, but a few people on social media called for it to remain shut. Many said the owner should at least to fire store manager, Cherise Bonanno, whom San Antonio media say is his daughter and who was featured in the ad.

“If she stays, Miracle Mattress will not have learned a thing,” Jan William posted on the company’s Facebook page.

Neither Mike nor Cherise Bonanno was immediately available for comment.

In the social media video ad that has since been pulled, Cherise Bonanno appears on screen with two men standing by two stacks of mattresses, one topped by a U.S. flag.

“What better way to remember 9/11 than with a Twin Tower sale?” Bonanno says. “Right now you can get any sized mattress for a twin price.”

The men knock over the towers of bedding. Bonanno then lets out a small scream and says: “We will never forget.”

On Sept. 11, 2001, two hijacked planes were slammed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center. A third plane was flown into the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and a fourth crashed in a Pennsylvania field. More than 2,600 people were killed.

Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn