Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dr. Martens Forever

Joey Ramone (1951 - 2001 ) born as Jeffry Ross Hyman.
Singer of the RAMONES

Sid Vicious (1957 - 1979) born as Simon John Ritchie
Bass player of the SEX PISTOLS

Kurt Cobain (1967 - 1994) born as Kurt Donald Cobain
Singer of NIRVANA

Joe Strummer (1952 - 2002) born as John Graham Mellor

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi London
Executive Creative Director: Kate Stanners
Art Director: Graham Lang
Copywriter: Andrew Petch
Photographer: Dimitri Daniloff
Retoucher: Christophe Huet

Though nice ads (in my oppinion), they ended up in big headache for the advertiser and the agency being fired.

The reason behind this mess is that British law, unlike American, appears to allow companies to use the images of dead celebrities without explicit permission from their estates. But it seems that the agency did not considered who they where facing with, angry relatives and legions of fans:

Courtney Love, Cobain's widow stated via her publicist Alan Nierob:
"Courtney never approved the use of these images [for commercial gain] nor would she ever approve it. She knew nothing about it,"

Joey Ramones' brother, Mickey Leigh, issued the following statement about the use of his late brother's image:
"Obviously, we are in the same position as Courtney Love, as well as the Estates of the others depicted (in the ad). We were never consulted about this ad. We were never asked for permission to use Joey's image, or paid for the use of it. As Executor of my brother's estate I never would have approved this ad as Joey never wore these shoes. And, not that my brother was terribly religious, but the fact that he was Jewish, and this ad is not exactly Kosher, makes it that much more inappropriate, inconsiderate and contemptible. Though we were about to formulate a statement to the above effect, Courtney certainly has a louder, more influential voice, and I am thrilled that she got through to the them".

Dr. Martens spokesman Andrew Petch explained: "We wanted to communicate that Dr. Martens boots are 'made to last' and we discovered that these idolized musicians wore them. Showing them still wearing their Docs in heaven dramatized the boots' durability perfectly. And, as images, they feel very iconic."
"Dr Martens is very sorry for any offense that has been caused by the publication of images showing dead rock icons wearing Dr Martens boots. Dr Martens did not commission the work as it runs counter to our current marketing activities based on FREEDM which is dedicated to nurturing grass roots creativity and supporting emerging talent. As a consequence, Dr Martens has terminated its relationship with the responsible agency".

The "responsible agency," London-based Saatchi & Saatchi, defended the work, saying the photographs were legally purchased from Corbis, one of the world's largest stock photo companies.
"We believe the ads are edgy but not offensive. There has been blog commentary both for and against the ads, but it is our belief that they are respectful of both the musicians and the Dr. Martens brand,” said Kate Stanners, the agency's executive creative director.

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