"I was there." "No I wasn’t!"
The reality of advertising clashes with the reality of the real world.
An advertising agency in New York created an ad for a local law firm to advertise attorneys who represent those harmed by illnesses related to the World Trade Center attack on 9/11. As is customary for such ads, they bought a stock photo image. The ad said:
"I was there. And now Worby Groner Edelman and Napoli Bern is there for me."
Unfortunately, the model they used in the photo was a real New York City firefighter. The model was Robert Keiley, who joined the FDNY in 2004 and was not at the World Trade Center during the disaster. Mr. Keiley’s image was photoshopped to show him holding a photo of one of the twin towers. Said Mr. Keiley:
"I had friends who died on 9/11… How can I look their families in the eye if they see this picture, thinking I’m trying to make money on their [loved ones’] deaths? They’d probably think I’m a scumbag."
Barker/DZP, the advertising agency, responded:
"When creating the ad, we purchased stock photography of an actor dressed as a firefighter, and we obtained all required model releases and real property owner releases, specifically including use for any purpose (such as advertising) as well all rights regarding the manipulation and/or alteration of the image. This is standard procedure for advertising agencies."
However, the agency also apologized to everyone involved, reaffirmed their respect for firefighters, and withdrew from the assignment.
– Firefighter in 9/11 law-firm ad wasn’t at 9/11, Adfreak>>
– Law firm’s ad trick a 9/11 ‘insult’- New York Daily News>>