Joey Ramone features in the advert for Dr Martens along with Kurt Cobain and Joe Strummer, wearing the boots in heaven.
As previously reported Courtney Love hit out at the use of her late husband in the campaign, and now Ramone’s brother has followed suit.
“Obviously, we are in the same position as Courtney Love, as well as the Estates of the others depicted [in the ad],” said Mickey Leigh. “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.”
The footwear manufacturer has sacked the advertising agency behind the advert, Saatchi & Saatchi, stating: “Dr Martens is very sorry for any offence 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.”
However the agency have hit back, telling MediaGuardian.co.uk that they believed the campaign was in good taste.
“We believe the ads are edgy but not offensive,” said Kate Stanners, Saatchi & Saatchi‘s executive creative director. “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.”
She added that the ads had only been created for a print campaign in the UK and they were now “considering the ongoing employment of the individual who was in breach of instructions not to distribute the ads further than the original approved placement in Fact Magazine“.