Last week, an ad produced by Living Styles Furniture Design ran in our pages with an image of a woman carrying a mattress. That photograph, by Andrew Burton, used out of context and without permission from the photographer or Getty Images, was of Emma Sulkowicz
, the Columbia University student who carried her mattress to and from classes to protest the university's handling of her sexual assault allegations.
The ad came to us camera ready, meaning that the advertiser designed it, not our production staff. Unfortunately, no one on our advertising or production staffs recognized the image and the editorial department did not see the advertisement until it appeared in print. At that point, horrified, we immediately yanked it from our website.
Living Styles, whose owner Rick Breen expressed mortification at learning the context of the image, has been informed and we are assured nothing like this will happen again. The business is issuing a formal apology in the Journal
next week. We are also taking steps to ensure that all our advertisers understand our policy on copyrighted images.
The content of the paper, be it editorial or advertising, is ultimately our responsibility. We regret running the image at all and apologize for any hurt or offense it may have caused. The North Coast Journal
takes sexual assault very seriously, as we hope our past and continuing coverage shows, and the same goes for copyright law.
Thadeus Greenson and Jennifer Fumiko Cahill