March 5th, 2012 by faye
The recent billboard ad for the hit TV series “Mad Men” has clearly sparked a controversy, especially with New Yorkers and the families of the 9/11 attack victims, calling the creators of the ad insensitive.
The said billboard of “Mad Men” which can be seen at 30th Street and Seventh Avenue, depicts protagonist Don Draper falling from atop a tall building. The single line of text reads: “March 25,” referring to the premiere of the new season of “Mad Men.” For some people, these images are reminiscent of the tragic events of 9/11 attack and are disrespectful to those who jumped to their deaths from the World Trade Center in 2001.
Charles G. Wolf, whose wife Katherine was working on the 97th floor of WTC tower one when she was killed during the 9/11 attack, was upset by the “Mad Men” ad. “Now that I see it in person, it’s like ‘oh God,’ and they put it right in front of tall buildings, and that is not a cool thing to do,” Wolf told PIX 11 News. He added that it’s a painful reminder of all those who jumped to their deaths out of desperation during the 9/11 attack, and that the sign should be taken down.
“I think in deference to the sensitivity of New Yorkers, perhaps they should remove it,” said Wolf.
AMC, the network which airs “Mad Men,” said in a statement: “Mad Men’s current advertising campaign features the iconic and signature image of a falling man from the series’ Emmy Award-winning opening credits. 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.”
As for any similarities to 9/11 attack, AMC added, “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.”
Cesar Tejada, who works in the area where the ad can be seen, said the “Mad Men” billboard is an example of good advertising because it has made him curious enough about the show. However, he also said it’s confusing: “In a way it’s not good, because you see it, and you don’t really know what it is. You think different thoughts in your head, like suicide and 9/11,” Tejada said.