PR disaster: ‘Headless Day’ promo launches same day American journalist is beheaded

Talk about a PR disaster, it couldn’t get worse than this!

On the same day word began to filter out that barbarian Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants beheaded American journalist Steven Sotloff, a marketing firm launched a promo for the Season One DVD release of the Fox hit show “Sleepy Hollow.”

The following imaging, touting the hashtag #HEADLESS DAY, was included as part of the marketing campaign:


According to Deadline, The Sleepy Hollow promo was emailed to press shortly after news broke that the American journalist was beheaded, sending the firm scrambling to apologize.

“We apologize for the unfortunate timing of our “Sleepy Hollow” Headless Day announcement,” ThinkJam wrote. “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.”

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The firm said the promo was “in poor taste” and that they would have never released it “had we have known.”

But as Deadline noted, was the firm also unaware that photojournalist James Foley was just beheaded two weeks ago, and that his murderers threatened to behead a man identified as Sotloff next?

Fox issued its own apology following ThinkJam’s statement: “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.”

Tom Tillison


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