There are PR gaffes and then there is the poster (below) for Michael Bay's live-action revival of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which depicts the five pizza-lovers jumping out of an exploding building just above the release date of 'September 11.'
The unfortunate juxtaposition of the image and the date of the 9/11 terror attacks, which destroyed the World Trade Centre and killed nearly 3,000 people in 2001, was first noticed yesterday when it was tweeted by Paramount's Australian office. Almost immediately, it ignited a Twitterstorm of criticism, and has since been deleted from Twitter and Facebook.
Executives have since offered an apology for the poster, which had combined a publicity shot with an Australian release date.
"We are deeply sorry to have used that artwork for the marketing materials promoting the September 11 opening in Australia," said Paramount Australia in a statement. "Combining that image and date was a mistake. We intended no offense and have taken immediate action to discontinue its use."
The same image, no doubt, would not have caused such furore with the American release date of August 8.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which stars Megan Fox and features the voice of Johnny Knoxville as turtle character Leonardo, will be released in the UK at the later date of 17th October.