In the past few weeks, fires near San Francisco and Los Angeles have plunged parts of California into a state of chaos and disaster.
The fires forced several hundred thousand people from their homes and left several million people without power.
But, despite the fact that many Californians didn’t have access to power or water (much less Wi-Fi), disaster-preneurs took advantage of the smoke to start hawking everything from high-end air purifiers to solar panels.
First came the smoke…
Then came the smoke and mirrors.
Molekule — which makes an air purifier that The New York Times’ Wirecutter called “the worst air purifier” it ever reviewed — began running geo-targeted advertisements for its air purifiers that showed images of wildfires.
After the ad campaign, a Molekule co-founder told The Verge: “It’s obvious we didn’t get it right… We apologize to anyone who found it offensive or exploitative.”