Following a vicious backlash from the patrons of the New York City subway, e-commerce giant Amazon seems to have realised that plastering dystopian Nazi imagery across MTA cars was maybe kinda sorta a bad idea. Good job.
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. The campaign covered subway benches in American flags whose fifty stars have 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 MTA’s most heavily patronized subway cars with an ad for the crown jewel in Amazon’s growing collection of original series was going to rake in a shit ton of money.)
In any case, following a social media uproar Monday evening, and Mayor Bill de Blasio himself calling the ads “irresponsible and offensive” on Tuesday, Amazon seems to have gotten the message that Americans aren’t too keen about being forced to sit on the flags of Nazi America. This morning, a Variety report quoted MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz saying that “Amazon has just decided to pull the ads.”
— Katherine Lam (@byKatherineLam) November 23, 2015
Between offending millions of New Yorkers and successfully sending a rocket to the edge of space and back, it’s been a tumultuous week for Jeff Bezos.
Top Image: Spencer Platt/ Getty Images