Bell Helicopter Blames Someone Else For Its Tasteless Ad

Reuters: Boeing Co. apologised on Friday for a mistakenly published advertisement for its V-22 Osprey aircraft showing troops dropping onto the roof of a mosque in what appears to be a simulated battle scene.
The ad, coming amid rising concern among Muslims over U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, prompted immediate complaints from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which demanded the withdrawal of the campaign.
But Boeing, which created the ad with partner Bell Helicopter, said publication was a “clerical error” by the National Journal, which ran the ad on September 24.
bell_heli_ad.jpg
The ad shows troops rappelling down from an Osprey craft to the domed roof of a building labelled “Muhammad Mosque” in Arabic as smoke billows from a burned-out car nearby.
“It descends from the heavens. Ironically it unleashes hell,” says the ad, published by Boeing and Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron Inc., which jointly developed the Osprey.
The aircraft “delivers Special Forces to insertion points never thought possible,” says the text of the ad.
The ad “clearly portrays special forces assaulting a mosque, a structure dedicated to civilian worship purposes,” said CAIR executive director Nihad Awad, in a letter to the two companies. “This gives the impression that ‘the insertion points never thought possible’ are Islamic places of worship.”
Bell said it regretted any concern provoked by the ad, and it was looking into its “creative processes” to prevent a repeat.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestLinkedInRedditStumbleUponEmailDiggShare
About David Burn

Native Nebraskan seeking the perfect pale ale in the Pacific Northwest. Copywriter and brand strategist at Bonehook. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • bob

    I read elsewhere that they weren’t blaming the publication for content, but for it being published in one edition after it was supposed to have been pulled.

  • http://www.wadesturdivant.com Wade Sturdivant

    Bell Helicopter’s ad agency is? Our old friends TM, purveyors of the American Airlines “We Know Why You Fly” claptrap.
    Well, at least they’re consistent.
    Consistently annoying.