Best Buy Capitalizes On Murder Of Teenage Girl In Serial | The Mary Sue
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Best Buy Capitalizes On Murder Of Teenage Girl In Callous Serial Tweet

"Payphones" or "a competent social media team," I guess.

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Your daily corporate social media blunder: Best Buy capitalizing on the murder of an 18-year-old girl!

For those not familiar with Serial, the podcast is an in-depth investigation of the real-life 1999 abduction and murder of Hae Min Lee and her ex-boyfriend Adnan Musud Syed’s conviction in her death. Based on the timeline of events laid out by detectives [possible trigger warning here] and studied by the podcast, many fans speculate that Lee was strangled in the parking lot of a Maryland Best Buy, and her body placed in the trunk of her car.

In a quest to determine if Syed was wrongfully convicted in the murder, Serial investigates loose ends in the case, one of which–a payphone a key witness claimed was available at the Best Buy in 1999–has become an obsession for fans, with amateur investigators flocking to the Maryland location. Although store spokesperson Jeff Shelman told The Huffington Post he couldn’t tell if Serial had boosted the Best Buy brand in general, Jeff Greenfield, the co-founder of media analytics firm 3C Metrics, disagrees: “Any mention of them, especially this time of year, is going to be to their advantage.”

Although obviously Best Buy can’t help becoming affiliated with the cult phenomenon, there’s a difference between benefitting from incidental advertising and going out of your way to trivialize the death of a young woman in the name of Holiday sales. The tweet has since been deleted, and an apology issued:

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