Agency Offers Apology to Firefighter in 9/11 Ad


New York advertising agency Barker/DZP apologized Monday to local firefighter Robert Keiley for creating an ad which indicated Keiley he had been at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, when in fact he was not. Keiley joined the Fire Department in 2004.

Keiley, who also works as a model, was under the impression the ad would be for fire prevention when he agreed to the photoshoot. But his photograph appeared without his knowledge or permission in an ad for a local law firm that specializes in September 11 legal cases, with the words "I Was There."

"We deeply regret any offense to Mr. Keiley, other firefighters or anyone else that has been hurt by this ad," said Keith McKay, business operations manager for Barker/DZP. Agency president John Barker said Barker/DZP purchased the stock photo of Keiley and, in a statement, said, "At no time did we have any idea, or could we have had any knowledge, that the person in the photo, Robert Keiley, was an actual firefighter, much less a New York City firefighter. This unfortunate coincidence makes the ad into something we never intended it to be."

The ad appeared in a program for a charity sporting event to benefit police and fire departments and carried a disclaimer Keiley was an actor.

Keiley wants the ad, which has already appeared in a program for for a police and fire department charity event, pulled from use altogether, his attorney said.

"Our intention has only been to get this ad pulled, and this photograph destroyed, because he doesn't believe in the commercialization of 9/11," the attorney said. "We are not seeking monetary gain."

by Steve Hall    Mar-30-11   Click to Comment   
Topic: Agencies, Policy