James Gandolfini’s Death Prompted This Questionable Facebook Post from Amazon

    June 20, 2013
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

Good intentions gone horribly wrong? A callous attempt to generate sales from the death of an icon? Or a simple mistake by some social media guy? Whatever the case, some people aren’t very happy with Amazon right now.

As you probably heard, well-respected actor James Gandolfini, best known for his masterful portrayal of conflicted mob boss Tony Soprano in HBO’s The Sopranos, died on Wednesday of an apparent heart attack at the age of 51. Tributes to the late actor poured out on social media, but Amazon.com’s “tribute” rubbed some Facebook users the wrong way.

Shortly after news of his passing hit the internet, Amazon’s official Facebook page posted an update that read:

Saddened to hear about the passing of James Gandolfini today. We’ll miss you, James, and the memorable characters you brought to life.

That’s a nice sentiment – except for the fact that the post also included a link to The Sopranos: The Complete First Season on Amazon.com.

The post has since been removed, but as this is the internet, nothing is ever really deleted. Gizmodo has the screenshot:

Many Facebook users are upset, claiming that Amazon was using the death of Gandolfini to profit.

“Way to retract that shameless attempt to profit from the tragedy of James Gandolfinis death. Wonder who’s losing their job over this one,” says one user on Amazon’s official Facebook page.

“Stay classy Amazon. I’m sure James Gandolfini’s family is happy that his untimely death could bump up your Sopranos DVD sales,” says another.

You can check out more similar comments here.

Tasteless? Maybe. But it’s likely just a mistake made by an over-zealous social media manager. The post has been removed, so let’s not crucify Amazon. But it does show that people are going to call you out if your company uses (and abuses) social media like this. Companies, beware.

  • Quinn Mallory

    I wouldn’t classify it as tasteless (which is in the eye of the beholder) to show the Soprano’s picture. I, for one, had no idea who he was when the death was mentioned as I’d never seen this Sopranos show. But seeing the Soprano’s picture gave me a frame of reference. Perhaps that’s all Amazon meant by it: express condolences at the actor’s passing, but put up a picture to give people a reference for the role he was famous for. I’ve seen similar things done when other actor’s pass away. Often the photo shown is of the actor in some role they’re well known for as a way to give readers who might not know the actor a frame of reference. I think that had Amazon been any other business (other than one that also sells the video tapes of the show), it wouldn’t have made a difference.

    • Charles Williams

      So true, I could not have said it better.

  • http://www.irishmusicshop.co.uk John

    meh its just a link to a photo

  • http://www.genf20-plus.com/ Genf20

    What a bad way for amazon. They want to profit from dead man :(