Walking distance from Ground Zero are billboards eerily reminiscent to the iconic ‘Falling Man’ who jumped from the twin towers on 9/11. The ad campaign, which is for the AMC series Mad Men, is being called insensitive at best and exploitative at worst.
Deborah Burlingame’s father was the pilot of the hijacked plane that crashed into the Pentagon. “I find it impossible to believe that any advertiser could be so stupid as to think you can put up a billboard in New York City which shows a human being tumbling down in space and not imagine that this will evoke the tragic memory of those poor souls on 9/11,” said Burlingame. “I think this advertiser has decided that creating a controversy, at the expense of the thousands of people who will be hurt by this image of man falling to his certain death, is worth it.”
AMC insists it was never their intention to conjure up images of 9/11. “Mad Men‘s current advertising campaign features the iconic and signature image of a falling man from the series’ Emmy Award-winning opening credits,” they said in a statement. “The image of Don Draper tumbling through space has been used since the show began in 2007 to represent a man whose life is in turmoil. The image used in the campaign is intended to serve as a metaphor for what is happening in Don Draper’s fictional life and in no way references actual events.”