Expedia has apologised after an email promo featuring a picture of Christchurch cathedral in New Zealand was sent just hours after the city was struck by a fatal earthquake.
The cathedral was severely damaged in the quake which hit the city on Tuesday this week, with 75 dead so far, hundreds injured and widespread destruction to buildings and streets.
Unconfirmed reports say some people were killed when part of the famous cathedral collapsed during the quake.
Expedia officials have blamed marketing colleagues in its London office for the blunder. Australia and New Zealand boss Nicolas Chu says its promos are created and sent from the UK, but apologised for any "insensitivity".
The faux pas came to light after subscribers to the email started slamming Expedia in social networks such as Twitter for including the artwork in the bulletin.
Later versions of the promo featured a mountain landscape view from New Zealand instead of the cathedral.
Other web companies have taken a more helpful approach in the wake with the disaster. Within hours of the main tremor, Google had created a Crisis Response page, allowing users to locate the nearest medical units in the city on a map and register if they are looking for friends or relatives.
NB: Thanks to a reader for the image.