1 Immortalized ad pulled following unrelated on-air shooting on Thu 27 Aug 2015, 04:36
Warner Bros. has pulled a video ad for heavy-metal band Disturbed in the wake of Wednesday's fatal on-air shooting of a TV reporter and her cameraman.
The ad for the band's new album Immortalized contained footage from a music video for latest single The Vengeful One, in which a monstrous creature shoots several people at a television station. The clip, known as a pre-roll ad, played before online news videos, including those at usatoday.com.
Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, journalists for WDBJ7-TV in Roanoke, Va., were killed during a live broadcast early Wednesday morning. Vester Flanagan, 41, a former station employee who used the name Bryce Williams on the air, posted video of the attack to his Twitter account and Facebook page before fatally shooting himself.
In a statement to USA TODAY, Gogi Gupta, founder of Gupta Media, the online marketing agency that placed the ad, said: "The Disturbed ad was served via retargeting. Retargeting ads are matched to previous web-browsing behavior, so only a visitor who had interacted with Disturbed websites would be eligible to see this ad. The content of the video is irrelevant in this type of advertising because we know that they are Disturbed fans. There was no use of keywords or any other kind of targeting for this particular ad.”
Immortalized, released Friday, is expected to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart. Last week, The Vengeful One was No. 1 on USA TODAY's active rock airplay chart.
The song's lyrics protest a media seen as profiting off war and human misery. In it, frontman David Draiman sings, "The rabid media plays their roles, stoking the flames of war to no surprise/ Only too eager to sell their souls, for the apocalypse must be televised."
The animated music video depicts the band's wraith-like mascot "The Guy" — who appears on the group's album covers — shooting robotic television anchors in a newsroom, then bursting into the station's control room and similarly dispatching several demon-like workers with glowing eyes. The ad Warner Bros. pulled contained footage of the shootings in the control room.
In the video, "The Guy basically plays the hand of God," Disturbed drummer Mike Wengren told USA TODAY two weeks before the shooting. "He sees the media and the world running amok, and he comes down to save everyone. He goes down and takes out the mind-controlling media."
Posted in June, the video for The Vengeful One has more than 5.5 million views on YouTube.