Following some backlash from the patrons of the New York City underground train system, e-commerce giant Amazon seems to have twigged that plastering dystopian Nazi imagery across subway carriages wasn't a great plan. Or, was it a brilliant ruse to get lots of promotion for the new Amazon-Studios-original show?
The ad campaign was intended to promote The Man in the High Castle, Amazon’s new, alternate history TV series based on a Philip K. Dick novel where the Axis powers win World War II. Subway carriage benches were emblazoned with American flags whose fifty stars had been swapped out for a Nazi coat of arms, as well as a variation of the Rising Sun flag of Imperial Japan, retouched with American colours.
How, in fact, Amazon failed to realise that this sort of imagery might cause a stir remains unknown. (Probably, that remote possibility was carefully weighed against the thought that painting the interior of the New York's most heavily patronised subway carriages with ads for the crown jewel in Amazon’s growing collection of original series might cause a fuss online. All publicity is good publicity and all that.)
In any case, following fuss on social media on Monday, and Mayor Bill de Blasio himself calling the ads “irresponsible and offensive” on Tuesday, a Variety now quotes Metropolitan Transport Authority spokesperson Kevin Ortiz who assures weary and worried Subway travellers that “Amazon has just decided to pull the ads”.
Between offending millions of New Yorkers and successfully sending a rocket to the edge of space and back this morning, it’s been a tumultuous week for Jeff Bezos. [Mashable]
Top Image: Spencer Platt/ Getty Images