An ad for a law firm specializing in 9/11 claims has been pulled after the FDNY firefighter used in the poster threatened to sue, upset the ad wrongly implied he was at the Twin Towers that day.
Robert Keiley, a city firefighter since 2004, posed for the stock photo a year ago, thinking it was a standard fire-prevention spot. In fact, an ad agency used his image — with the headline “I Was There” — for a spot promoting the law firm Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern.
It showed him covered in soot and holding a picture of Ground Zero. In the actual shoot, he held a helmet, but the agency, which purchased the stock photo of him, altered it using Photoshop.
Keiley, 34, threatened to sue, telling the Post: "It makes me look like I'm cashing in on 9/11, saying I was there even though I was never there, and that I'm sick and possibly suing, trying to get a chunk of money."
John Barker, president of the Barker/DZP ad agency, said the agency will pull the ad and that it "sincerely apologizes for any pain caused by this ad."
"At no time did we have any idea — nor could we have had any knowledge — that the person in the photo, Robert Keiley, was an actual firefighter, much less a New York City firefighter," Barker said in a statement. "This unfortunate coincidence makes the ad into something we never intended it to be."
The ad was shown at the annual World Police Fire Games Event Gala, according to the New York Post, which first reported the story.
The firm, which represents people seeking federal compensation for illnesses developed from time at Ground Zero, directed calls to Barker/DZP.