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Getty Images: the apology in full

12 May 2001 - EPUK

Getty Images have apologised for a “insensitive, obscene and offensive” advertisement for PhotoDisc, a Getty company, which raised a storm of protest both among their own contributors and the industry at large. Here is their apology in full:


Photodisc’s “Unacceptable” advert

A number of people have expressed concerns regarding an advertisement for PhotoDisc, which appeared in a recent issue of Visuell, the European photographic magazine.

The advertisement featured a PhotoDisc image of two women which had been altered as if by a ‘Magic Marker’. The copy suggested that PhotoDisc images could be used by clients in any way they choose, which is not accurate. We wish to emphasize that Getty Images imposes strict restrictions on the use of the images it licenses and on a customer’s ability to alter these images. In this instance, the internal approval and creative sign-off procedures were not followed and, unfortunately, this advertisement neither complied with Getty Images’ position nor reflected our philosophy and process for creating and distributing high-quality imagery to customers world-wide.

While we regret that it was published, further use of the advertisement was halted immediately after we became aware of its publication and we have undertaken a review of our procedures to ensure that similar incidents do not recur in the future. Please be assured that we respect the imagery our artists create, their copyrights in those images, and the rights of the models who appear in them. Given this, the advertisement was clearly unacceptable, and we apologize if any offense was caused.

Anthony Harris, Director of Photographer Relations
Peggy Willett, Director of Photographer Communications

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