Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Expedia sorry after quake marketing blunder Marissa Calligeros

February 23, 2011

Travel booking site Expedia has apologised after an accommodation promotion featuring an image of the Christchurch cathedral was sent out today.

The advertisement was emailed to subscribers under the headline \"Hurry! New Zealand 72hr Sale Ends Soon\".

It contained a large image of the spire of the Christchurch Cathedral that was severely damaged in yesterday\'s devastating earthquake.

Advertisement: Story continues below Expedia replaced the image with one of snow-covered mountains, shortly after the blunder was publicised on social networking site Twitter.

\"Just been sent a \'Massive 72 Hour New Zealand Sale\' promotional email from Poor taste?\" one Twitter user wrote.

Another wrote: \"I got a somewhat ill-timed email from Expedia this morning.\"

There are fears a number of people were killed when the cathedral\'s spire crashed to the ground, leaving bodies buried in the rubble.

Expedia Australia and New Zealand manager Nicolas Chu released a statement today apologising for the "unfortunate timing" of its email promotion.

He said the mistake was made by the company\'s London-based marketing team.

\"The fact is that these promotional emails are built and deployed from our team in London,\" he said.

\"This one was deployed before the earthquake hit.

\"Expedia apologises for any insensitivity towards the people of Christchurch, which of course was not our intention.\"

Mr Chu said the promoter was now helping customers, who were planning to travel to or from the affected area, make alternative travel arrangements.

The company\'s website continued to promote cheap flight and accommodation deals on its website this afternoon

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