Fox laments ‘unfortunate timing’ of promo for ‘Headless Day’

Emails urging reporters to use a #HeadlessDay hashtag to promote the TV show ‘Sleepy Hollow’ came moments before news of journalist Steven Sotloff’s beheading in Iraq broke.

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One of the year’s most egregious PR fails came this week from 20th Century Fox and its attempts to promote the DVD release of its TV series “Sleepy Hollow.” The company sent an email urging journalists to celebrate “Headless Day” just before news broke that ISIL terrorists beheaded U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff.

Jim Romenesko ran the release and follow-up apology on his blog under the title, “You can’t apologize enough for sending out this release today — or any day .”

The release comes with four social media tiles in the style of the meme makers at someecards. It reads, in part:

Heads will roll as sleepyheads celebrate Headless Day today, September 2. On this National Beheading Day, viewers everywhere can share in the fun as fans prepare for the release of Sleepy Hollow: Season One on Digital HD now and arriving on Blu-ray and DVD September 16.

We hope you like them and are able to share them with your readers! If you share via your social media platforms, please tag them with #HeadlessDay!

The Sleepy Hollow PR folks sent out the following apology a little more than an hour after the initial email:

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