SMH in “unfortunate” Father's Day ad slip

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 7 September 2015
Screenshot of the ad placement on the SMH's mobile site.

Fairfax Media has come under fire for a Father's Day ad for Myer, which the publisher admits was “very unfortunate”, with the ad appearing in a story about the father who lost both of his sons when an asylum seeker boat sunk off the coast of Turkey.

The piece published on Saturday, covered the tragic story of Abdullah Kurdi who lost his son's three-year-old Aylan and five-year-old Galip and his wife when the boat they were attempting to flee Syria on sunk between Greece and Turkey.

A photo of Aylan washed up on a Turkish beach emerged last week and sparked an outpouring of grief at the refugee crisis occurring in the Middle East.

The ad was to celebrate Father's Day and appeared in mobile versions of the story directly above images of Abdullah mourning the loss of his family and also photo's of a body covered in a sheet.

A spokesperson for Fairfax told AdNews: “We take our coverage of the Syrian crisis very seriously.

“The Myer ad placement was of course very unfortunate and the ad is no longer running across the site. The placement was part of a sponsorship buy of mobile news articles and every news story was accompanied with this ad. As our editorial and commercial teams are independent, measures are in place to do our best to avoid this both prior to and after publication, and this ad was unfortunately not captured.”

One person took to Facebook to call the publisher out on the placement saying: “Hey The Sydney Morning Herald, it might be worth checking your automatic in-article advertising. Bit hard to stomach this Father's Day ad right above a picture of Aylan Kurdi's father cradling the body of his lifeless son.”

This isn't the first time that Fairfax has been the victim of an unfortunate ad placement, with the publisher pulling advertising from the NSW government earlier in the year after a homepage take-over showing the beauty of Sydney in Winter during the “the storm of the century”.

See the ad below for yourself:

Screenshot of the ad placement on the SMH's mobile site.

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