Heartfelt tributes poured out from across the web on Monday after news broke that rock icon David Bowie had died of cancer at the age of 69.
But one of the less welcome sources of mourning was the Twitter accounts of major brands, some of whom paid their respect to the late rock star in the same rote way they tend to weigh in on any topic galvanizing the Internet's attention at a particular moment.
Images of tributes for Bowie:
TL; DR: the attempts by brands to connect with the global day of mourning around Bowie's passing struck many Twitter users as a crass exploitation of the death of a beloved musician for commercial purposes. (Note to brands: The Man Who Sold the World was not a piece of advice.)
Perhaps an additional dose of irony: Bowie himself worked briefly in the ad industry as a junior visualizer and recollected that he "loathed it."
And when everyone's least favorite brand of foamy, rubbery shoes chimed in with a Bowie-imitative lightning bolt superimposed over a dismal white clog, it proved too much for the Internet to bear.
Crocs removed the tweet within a half an hour after a quick burst of vehement backlash.
A handful of other brands -- most of them fashion houses -- managed at least slightly more tasteful tributes, by merit of the fact that their business was at least tangentially related to the singer's career. Pro tip: when mourning a cultural icon, try very hard to keep your product out of it.