On the same day that news of of U.S. journalist’s Steven Sotloff’s death at the hands of ISIS terrorists broke, ThinkJam in collaboration with Fox Home Entertainment rolled out a Headless Horseman-themed campaign to promote Sleepy Hollow:
“Heads will roll as sleepyheads celebrate Headless Day today, September 2. On this National Beheading Day, viewers everywhere can share in the fun as fans prepare for the release of Sleepy Hollow: Season One on Digital HD now and arriving on Blu-ray and DVD September 16.
“We hope you like them and are able to share them with your readers! If you share via your social media platforms, please tag them with #HeadlessDay!”
This isn’t just a case of bad timing—it’s a case of bad thinking… of surrendering to the laws of inertia when good sense would suggest giving up. After all, last Tuesday marked the two-week anniversary of journalist James Foley’s grisly beheading.
We have to agree with Tom Biro of Allison PR here:
I’m sorry but the timing wasn’t just poor that DAY for “Headless Day” – given recent news, just come up with another promo idea #commonsense
— Tom Biro (@tombiro) September 3, 2014
ThinkJam issued the following apology via email:
“We apologize for the unfortunate timing of our Sleepy Hollow Headless Day announcement. The tragic news of Steven Sotloff’s death hit the web as the email was being sent. Our deepest sympathies are with him and his family, and we don’t take the news lightly. Had we have known this information prior, we would have never released the alert and realize it’s in poor taste.”
Fox Home Entertainment also issued an apology.
“Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment recognizes and apologizes for today’s promotion for the Season One DVD release of Sleepy Hollow. We regret the unfortunate timing of our announcement and our deepest sympathies go out to the families of all involved.”
Again, the campaign would have raised eyebrows even if it hadn’t coincided with news of Sotloff’s tragic death.
This apology isn’t up to par.