New York Times under fire for new ad campaign "imagining Harry Potter without its creator"

The new ad campaign from the New York times by Droga5 with Becky, Lianna, Vera, Yassmin, and Jordan, has come under fire for "chilling" line referring to JK Rowling. The line is in Lianna's ad, where it reads in full: 

Lianna is a harmony of flavors. A week in crossword land. Taking a swipe at love, or sex, or something. Breaking the binary. The magic of numbers. The big impact of a small hobby. Queer love in color. Heritage in rich hues. What does horror taste like? Imagining Harry Potter without its creator. Alter egos that bark. The joy of getting lost. Seduced by charisma. Battling over pleasure. Fighting bias in tech. How to talk through the hard stuff.

In a now viral tweet thread, T Greer shows with photographs each line in the digital billboard, and the reveal. The replies are already in the hundreds. Some are seeing the line as a thinly veiled threat, as JK Rowling has received thousands of them ever since she came out for women's and homosexual rights in a tweet two years ago. 

"If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction," Rowling tweeted. "If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth." 

Rowlings expanded on her views on sex and gender issues in a blog post, and garnered even more threats.


Many of the replies were horrified that a campaign for "independent journalism" is effectively leading more abuse to Rowling's door. Here are a few.

Many of the replies imagined The New York Times without its subscriber base, and people shared screenshots of unsubscribing to the ad. Which is the opposite goal of the campaign. 

The backlash against the campaign has garnered a lot of free press, however. So maybe that was the intention? Here are a few headlines.

The Spectator: The New York Times takes aim at J.K. Rowling

Fox News: New York Times criticized for ad campaign 'imagining Harry Potter without its creator'

ABC 7 news: NYT ad equates 'Imagining Harry Potter Without Its Creator' to 'independent journalism' 

Adland® is supported by your donations alone. You can help us out by buying us a Ko-Fi coffee.
Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
Files must be less than 1 MB.
Allowed file types: jpg jpeg gif png wav avi mpeg mpg mov rm flv wmv 3gp mp4 m4v.
Sport's picture
Anonymous Adgrunt's picture

WHO DID THAT! Too funny.