Florida Wal-Mart Removes 9/11-Themed Coke Display After Photo Sparks Backlash

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A 9/11-themed Coke display at a Wal-Mart in Panama City Florida prompted outrage after pictures of it circulated on Twitter this week, according to KTLA sister station WGHP.

Shawn Richard tweeted a picture of the display, which presented Coke Zero in place of Ground Zero. The photo spurred thousands of angry retweets about the beverage company’s marketing ploy.

“We stopped and stared at it like, oh my god,” Richard told BuzzFeed News. “Nobody seemed to be noticing it, it wasn’t very crowded, and I got the feeling that it had just been assembled. So we took some pics and went on our way.”

A Wal-Mart spokesman told the Orlando Weekly that the company initially approved the display. He said Coca-Cola usually approaches them with ideas for display ideas, but that Wal-Mart ultimately has final approval.

The display was eventually taken down, the publication reported.

Sunday will mark the 15th anniversary of the terror attack. A total of 2,977 people were killed in New York City, Washington, DC, and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after 19 men hijacked four fuel-loaded commercial airlines bound for California destinations on Sept. 11, 2001.

CNN contributed to this story.