Dr. Martens Responds to Ads Created by Saatchi & Saatchi




Dr Martens is very sorry for any offense that has been caused by the publication of images showing dead rock icons wearing Dr Martens boots.

Dr Martens did not commission the work as it runs counter to our current marketing activities based on FREEDM, which is dedicated to nurturing grass roots creativity and supporting emerging talent.

As a consequence, Dr Martens has terminated its relationship with the responsible agency.

David Suddens
Chief Executive

Sorry to hear! :(


popdistortion's picture
Activity Score 1592

Were people offended? Find it a bit harsh to terminate the contract with Saatchi over this.

twelve_noon's picture
Activity Score 617

for god's sake! they should be proud to be in an agency like saatchi in London. The work is brilliant and not offensive to the artists' value. we should be more insulted by stupidity in advertsing and the absence of freshness in marketing teams. I'M sorry for the creatives in saatchi...

kgeiger's picture
Activity Score 7312

Achoo! There's a virus going 'round...

ivan's picture

Here is a reply from Saatchi & Saatchi:

Thursday 24 May 2007


Saatchi & Saatchi today (Thursday) said it was standing by the creative work for a series of ads created for Dr. Martens which has seen the agency fired by the client. The client approved the ads to run as a one-off in Fact Magazine in the UK.

Kate Stanners, executive creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi said the four print ads which featured the late rock singers Kurt Cobain, Joe Strummer, Sid Vicious and Joey Ramone all in heaven wearing Dr Martens boots, were presented as a homage to the rock legends. All four punk-rock icons were known for wearing Dr. Martens boots.

Stanners said: “We believe the ads are edgy but not offensive. There has been blog commentary both for and against the ads, but it is our belief that they are respectful of both the musicians and the Dr. Martens brand.

“We regret that the controversy has led Dr. Martens to terminate the contract with Saatchi & Saatchi. We are investigating the circumstances and considering the ongoing employment of the individual who was in breach of instructions not to distribute the ads further than the original approved placement in Fact Magazine in the UK.

“While we believe the creative is a beautiful tribute to four legendary musicians, the individual broke both agency and client protocol in this situation by placing the ads on a US advertising website and acting as an unauthorised spokesperson for the company.”

The images of the late rock icons were sourced from Corbis and cleared to run in the ads in the UK. The award-winning photographer Dimitri Daniloff shot the ads.

- ENDS -

Notes to editors
1. Saatchi & Saatchi London is an ideas company which delivers business-transforming creativity to its clients across multiple platforms including branded entertainment, business innovation and shopper marketing.
2. Saatchi & Saatchi worldwide has 153 offices in 83 countries and 7,000 employees and is owned by Publicis Groupe. Saatchi & Saatchi is known for its strength at understanding the emotional connections between consumers and products. This approach comes to life through Lovemarks, the methodology developed to deliver “loyalty beyond reason” for Saatchi & Saatchi clients.

Media enquiries
Eleanor Conroy on 07740 039 886 or at

Minimum's picture
Activity Score 1490

"in this situation by placing the ads on a US advertising website"

Are they talking about us? Or a diffrent website all together?
...and let the poets cry themselves to sleep. And all their tearfull words would turn back into steam

ivan's picture

I think about us, but I'm not sure.

Minimum's picture
Activity Score 1490

In that case.....ouch

They could've just asked to withdraw the advertisement just like the policy says. Then there wouldn't be any more problems.
...and let the poets cry themselves to sleep. And all their tearfull words would turn back into steam

ivan's picture

They didn't want to do that. I would've done pulled it, but at this point there is no reason to do it. It's all over the web. Both blogs and MSM.

jcal's picture
Activity Score 84

I don't think it was you or AoTW, Ivan. I actually saw these on a different blog I frequent a couple days ago, who linked it from a different blog. I was going to post this here but forgot about it until now.


Ads have been done before!

ivan's picture

That makes me feel better. Thanks!

ivan's picture
Minimum's picture
Activity Score 1490

It sounds harsh when I say it...but thank god it wasn't us
I mean. It is free advertising and all. But this community has a reputation to keep.

klaussnow's picture
Activity Score 1675

I heard it was a comp. that wasn't released to the public; but now they're saying it was approved, so it still comes back to Doc Martens being in the wrong.

ivan's picture

Wow! The story is on Yahoo news:

ivan's picture

Even the spin magazine is running the story:

nsk's picture
Activity Score 145

Kurt Cobain rocked low tops all stars - not dr martens

drunk dave's picture
drunk dave
Activity Score 1066

Dr. M did ads with guys running from cops. And this is offence? Boooo crap.

TRICKY's picture
Activity Score 3954

ok beautifull ppl of adsoftheworld unite ---- what 's going on here ah yes another creative way found by another marketeer that wants ppl to talk about tha brand i think dr martin marketeers shuld revue their contract termination with saatchi due to the fact that news like this one hit shelves worldwide lololol

ivanlim's picture
Activity Score 262

"The client approved the ads to run as a one-off in Fact Magazine in the UK."

translates into:

"Client gave in to Creative pressure to run a scam ad in an obscure magazine to qualify for award entry."

Thanks to this, the rest of the clients will be more cautious about letting us run 'initiative' work.

moral of the story:
Scam responsibly

cheil's picture
Activity Score 4

...ha ha ha ha ha ..Haaa hhhaaahhahha ha ha
trying to be too clever this time..
...having to send out an apology .. hah ha ha
and remember the meeting you had before you agreed to do the ads... ha ha ha

save it for the Christmas party...

don,t kid the kidder...remeber the names in the saatchi creatives...

... think Camper next time you want a new pair of Docs....

Time for a massive viral campaign.... " Non Doctor...or Non Docs "..that about sums up the minds behind Saatchi and Doc M.....

they just don,t understand anymore... BLESSS ...hah ha ha ha ha aha ha.....

Guest's picture

MAde in China DOCS are TOTAL CRAP!!!
I still have the first pair i bought in 2001 andthey are in much better shape than the ones i bought 3 years ago, which were made in China.
And they ave the arrogance of selling tem for the same price!!

Guest's picture

I spend much time finding a blog like this, so it's exciting to view yours. I think I will have finished my task soonly. Thank you!