This Horribly Insensitive Marketing Campaign Is Everything Marketing Shouldn't Be

An airport parking reservations site recently used the death of a man at Chicago's O'Hare airport as an opportunity to promote its service. Customers were outraged. As they should have been.

learn more about Catherine Clifford

By Catherine Clifford

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Cutthroat is one thing. Disgraceful is another.

Last week, after a man was found dead in the parking lot of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, the airport parking reservation and deals website AirportParkingReservations.com used the death as an opportunity for convincing customers to use its service.

Related: Malaysia Airlines Scraps Ill-Conceived 'Bucket List' Promotion

The company sent out an email to its customers with a coupon for $5 off and the warning "Don't be late and end up in a crate. Save stress and possibly anything worse by utilizing technology and reserving all your travel needs in advance," the email said. The subject line was "Can On-Airport Parking Kill?"

Unsurprisingly, customers were offended. As they should be. There's a line, and professionals should know better. Nah, humans should know better.

Related: Golf Company's $1.5 Million Giveaway Far From a Hole in One

After being called out for sending the promotional email, AirportParkingReservations.com was apologetic both on Twitter and via email -- but it's appalling that they would think to cross the line to begin with.

Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

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