'Walking Dead' billboard causes controversy: Poor taste? -- PHOTO


Image Credit: North News

A billboard promoting AMC’s zombie hit The Walking Dead has sparked a controversy in the UK after an advertising company posted the display on the side of a funeral home. The banner — which includes the tagline “What makes us human?” — brandishes the show’s Walking Dead title visible to the bereaved as they approach the store to make arrangements for their loved ones. Here’s what the scene looks like:

“There must be somewhere else they could put it that would have shown a degree of insight and sensitivity,” said one resident.

Advertiser Clear Channel reportedly issued this apology:

“Clear Channel apologises for any offense caused by the unfortunate juxtaposition of this advertisement, which was certainly not intended. We arranged to have it removed right away and it has since come down.”

What do you think? Poor taste, marketing genius, or a bit of both?

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Comments (327 total) Add your comment
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  • hmm…..

    Bad taste? Yes. Weird coincidence? Yes. Oddly, hysterically funny in a sick, macabre sorta way? Yes.

    • Tye-Grr

      LOL! Yes, yes, yes!

      • Braaaaaaaainss

        Thank you for a common sense story.
        I am a 37 year old doctor who died 5 years ago and now walk the earth again. I’m looking for a man or woman, I don’t care which, as long as they have a big fat juicy braaaaaiinnn!
        You can meet me under the name MD_stands_for_Me_Dead at zombiebrainlove.com where beautiful people with juicy brains can meet zombies.


        yeah let me tell yah you sound like a doctor. . .not any doctor I would want to see, but an idiot doctor none the less.

      • Apelwood

        @Braaaaaaaaaainss – thank you for the best laugh I’ve had in a while!

      • @Apelwood

        Thanks for your response to Braaaaaaaaaaaaainss comment, otherwise I would not have read past the first line. Agreed, it was hysterical!

      • Liz

        @Braaaaaaaains-thanks for the laugh, and let me tell you I really needed it today. As a comment on the story, I think it’s pretty ironic, funny and twisted.

      • Squishmar

        I think Braaaaaaaaaaains wins for all-time best comment on any EW message board. Did the first responder not get the joke?

      • Tom

        This would have been more funny if it applied to the correct zombie universe. These are not the “Return of the Living Dead Zombies,” but rather more like the NOLD (“Night of the Living Dead”) zombies. NOLD zombies just it you. They do not prefer brains over other flesh.

      • kathleen Maghie

        way to over think it Tom

      • Rock Golf

        YOYOLOVXCCXC-U-R-DUMB wasn’t complaining about the Braaaaains comment. There was a similarly worded genuine spam comment that EW removed.

      • candacetx

        well, we can all see that @Tom doesnt need to worry about @Braaaaaaaaaaains

      • PJM

        Nice one, Braaaaaains. Very funny.

    • jpratm

      yes yes yes yes YES!!!!

      • Rock Golf

        @Sgdf: A certified millionaire! Thank God! Millionaires just aren’t worth as much without those certificates of authenticity. I hope they also keep him sealed in Mylar. It preserves their value.

      • Tom

        @Rock Golf Seriously, almost as good as Braaaaaaaains.

      • Fannie

        Frankly I think that’s aoblsutley good stuff.

    • cm


    • J


    • aleksa

      I LOL’d.

      • Lucy

        me too, I needed that!!

    • tipsy

      Yes on all accounts.

    • Erin


    • Kristen

      I’m in so much agreement! (:

    • Nick

      I am concur

      • Jason C.

        Nick: You are not concur, you are Nick! But I think everyone feels your sentiment!

      • Concur

        I am Nick.

      • atskooc

        I am Nick’s concur.

      • ann

        lmao @ Concur

      • Tyler D.

        I am Nick’s smirking revenge…

    • Jason C.

      I’m sorry but I laughed out loud when I read this! Yeah, it is unfortunate, at the same time though it’s genius. You can not tell me that someone in the advertising department wasn’t thinking morbidly when they said, “Let’s put an advert here!”

      • Hali

        Hey, I’m with you on that… when I read “on the side of a funeral home” I started cracking up. You know it had to be at least a thought lol… there’s too much planning that goes into those things.

      • ks

        Me too

      • Lonnie

        pure genius!

      • maggie

        Not so funny for people who are going to the funeral home because a loved one just died.

      • candacetx

        way to maximize those marketing dollars. It’s genius actually. Now everyone knows about the movie release.

      • candacetx

        oops.. I meant AMC show.

    • SteveStrifeX

      Maybe they’re trying to advocate for cremation?

      • Hali

        LMAO. Best comment ever award ^^ (@ the OP) XD.

      • yourmom


      • Squishmar

        This, along with Braaaaaaaains’ comment above are just hilarious.

      • steve

        or at the minimum, decapitation prior to burial

    • Rob


    • Alrisha6

      You’re rigth. I’m still laughing

    • Robbles


    • Raven

      Yeah, I LOL’ed too! Some people are just way too uptight.

      • CompuCor

        6 characters
        7 characters

      • Johnny

        Yes, but “laughed” does not communicate that the laughter was “out loud”. The difference between laughing out loud and laughing quietly inside to yourself needs to be distinguished.

      • J

        Laughed out loud
        14 characters

      • Concur

        How many times is Lol’ing a lie though? How about lqoti for laughing quietly on the inside

      • bill

        @Johnny, I dunno, if someone told me they laughed at something, I would automatically assume it was out loud and not in their head

      • Eviscerated

        Perhaps “L’ed O L” would have worked better. ;P

      • Tom

        And also, why do we say double-u double-u double-u (9 syllables) when world wide web is only 3?

      • monty

        Why is abbreviation such a long word?

      • Zaiya

        To think, I was counfsed a minute ago.

    • Rush

      Advertising fail.

      • N O

        No way Fail, it made on the CNN website

      • Rush

        Publicity win.

      • tv bug

        No the ad didn’t fail. They knew exactly what they were doing!! AND your comments prove it. It’ll probably end up on Kathy Lee & Hota. They have a segment on ads like this.. More publicity!!

    • harry

      OH Yes!

    • Renee


    • Renee

      Yes and yes and yes

    • MM

      The purpose of advertising is to get people talking. Mission accomplished.

    • Richard

      I agree; LOL Having the sign next to a funeral home brings memories of the old country back in Transylvannia.

    • Liz Lemon


    • Squishmar

      Yup. That very succinctly and eloquently sums it up. I don’t think I need to read any more comments.

      • Squishmar

        I don’t know why this posted here… I was referring to the very first post. But as it turns out, I’m very glad I’ve read on as this is such a nice change of pace from the whole “Pia-Gate”

    • nsimone

      yes, i started laughing as soon as i saw the connection. totally funny in a macabre way. it’s just one of those things.

      • magster

        I am LMAO at this whole thread. Seriously, I can’t stop laughing.

    • ashlee

      I agree. In very poor taste, but funny black humor.

    • Tarc


  • Jimmy

    “the unfortunate juxtaposition”

    Yeah, that’s not something you’ll hear very often.

    • Christopher

      I doubt many Americans get what the co-operative is. It’d be like Target opening funeral arrangement planning centers in a strip mall. There’s a lot more drama then there needs to be here, and a lot of disingenuous lack of disclosure about this situation from folks who I’m pretty sure know the facts… I’m sure the advertiser had no idea how insensitively placed that mini-billboard was. Incidentally, first-run episodes of The Walking Dead run on FX over in the UK, not AMC, so this is no AMC or FX’s advertising.

  • Adam

    While I don’t think they meant to offend anyone it is really unfortunate placement and it should be moved.

    • Bryce

      Oh cry us a river. When I’m headed to the funeral home I’d much rather be thinking about the zombie apocalypse than my dead loved one. Some people really need to take a chill pill.

      • Adam

        Until you have to plan funeral arrangements yourself I suggest you stop talking. The last thing I want to see as I’m planning a funeral for a recently deceased love one is a giant sign about the walking dead. Like I said, I don’t think there was any malice at all in placing it there, but it needs to be moved.

      • Jason C.

        Actually, Adam, I’m with Bryce. I don’t want to think about the person who has died for a moment, I’ve been thinking about them since the time they died. I want someone to make me laugh, make me happy. Trust me, I recall when my grandmother died. We were very close as I spent every day with her for months before we even thought there was a possibility she would die. When she did I preferred to spend time with those people that would make me laugh than those that would make me feel like they had been through what I was going through. I didn’t want downers around, I wanted uppers (and I’m not talking about drugs).

      • Patrick

        I agree. Adam, my father passed away about a year ago and we made sure to laugh about it. You have to! Why piss and moan over something you can’t change? We all die, the poster is funny (and any decent person would want everyone smiling at their funeral). If your sense of humor sucks then this poster will offend you (no matter where it is placed).

      • ikagirl

        Life is to short to be this serious. It is funny, though macabre….but I would rather laugh than cry.

      • Josh


        You laughed about your father’s death? You sick bastard.

      • Bella

        FINALLY! Someone else who sfeels like I do…. people need to lighten up! Thank You!! I am glad to see all of the LOLs posted. How can ya not?

      • Cheryl

        My mother passed and it was the worse day of my life, but I don’t think the poster is offensive. IT IS A POSTER….Maybe because I am a fan of the show. Americans stop complaining about everything.

      • David

        The statistics are pretty clear on this one….10 out of every 10 people will die. No doubt. Stop pretending that is not part of the deal.

      • Pam

        I agree completely! If I was making funeral arrangements, I would love the distraction of thinking about zombies chomping! (being serious here as I love zombie movies/shows)

      • K.

        I think it may be easier to laugh after a grandparent or a parent or someone who has lived a long life passes away. But, you all seem to forget that sometimes people die WAY before their time. I highly doubt parents would NEED to or WANT to laugh after losing a child. Think about that. Not everyone dies old. But, I believe it was a mistake and they said they would move it. End of story.

      • Chad

        RTFA it was moved at the time the statement was made. anyone making statements saying “it needs to be moved” needs to read the article. it was moved at the time this article was published.

      • maggie

        When one of you buries your 2-year-old who battled cancer almost her entire life, then tell me it this is funny. The last thing you want when your beautiful child dies is to think about rotting, animated corpses.

      • Peter

        “Americans stop complaining about everything.”

        Um….tihs is an issue in the UK.

    • Zakry

      No way. What is offensive? That the billboard says “dead”? When you go to the funeral home, don’t you know they are dead?

      Wah. Shut up. Grow up.

      • ann

        maybe just the idea of grandma turning into a zombie…. but that’s kind of funny too!

      • maggie

        You need to grow up Zakry. You either have never lost someone close to you, or you are just a cold-hearted b@$t@rd.
        ann, is the thought of someone’s dead 2-year-old turning into a zombie something you find funny too?

      • jess

        I’m actually with Zakry on this one. It’s not the poster that’s offensive, and it’s not the fact that it’s next to a funeral home either. It’s not the company’s fault that people make the jump from their show to a child like yours as a zombie. That’s your own mind and I’m sorry if you find the need to blame someone else on your grief. We’re not saying that that situation is funny, but simply that the original thought of placing the advertisement there has some morbid humor to it. If it hadn’t have been pointed out I doubt I would have noticed it’s placement to be honest.

        And before it’s pointed out that ‘obviously I haven’t experienced loss’ most of my mom’s side of the family is dead along with my great grandmother on my fathers side. Does it compare with the loss of a child? No. Is it still loss? Yes. With this loss can I still laugh at the placement of this poster? Yes.

        The key is to not get offended at stupid little things like this. The company decided to remove the poster, and honestly that’s all we can expect.

  • Rebecca

    Seriously, it doesn’t even really matter. I didn’t even notice that it was a funeral home until I read the article, I just saw the poster!!

    • Terri

      I agree, Rebecca. Did the same thing myself!

    • julie

      while i don’t find it offensive, it’s pretty funny actually, i don’t think they were saying those of us reading the article were offended. i think they were talking about the people who would be going to the funeral home being offended. sure they would know where they were going.

    • Peter

      The problem is the reverse situation — you’re going to the funeral home, and you notice the poster.

  • brandon

    Unless your deceased relative has, in reality, morphed into a zombie, I don’t see how this is in bad taste. It’s actually rather…poignant.

    • maggie

      Poignant? By putting the idea of rotting corpses into the minds of people who have just lost someone?

  • huh???

    The question I’m more interested in is: How does a co-operative funeral home work?

    • Peggy Mae

      You cooperate with their bottom line by virtue of dying…

      • Fortune


      • Jason C.

        More truer words have never been spoken!

    • Matt

      The co operative in the UK is a lot of different stores.. there’s food stores, furniture, clothing, florists, and funeral homes. I guess probably others, as well. I’m not sure why it’s called the cooperative, though.

  • Fortune

    when you’re making arrangements for your lost loved one you shouldnt be worried about posters. But im pretty sure it’ll get taken down.

  • bah

    love it!!! i laughed out loud…

  • LOL

    Dead people are pretty funny to me. Especially for sexual purposes.

    • cjm71

      Dude, keep your necrophiliac tendencies to your self. Poster was kinda funny, ytoue comment, kind creepy.

      • ann


      • LOL

        Typical TeaBagger telling me what I can and can’t do with my body (or other bodies)

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    Bad taste? Yes. Funny? OH YES!!!

  • dwediaenlaway

    new super

  • Elyse

    While the ad is standard for the series, its placement next to a funeral home is, well, not good at all. If anything, the WD people should request another space in the city NOT next to a funeral home (or hospital, for that matter). GOod place? A subway full of commuters.

  • psb1962

    this is the definition of IRONY!!!!!

    • JackoB

      Actually, no, it isn’t.

      • Jason C.

        Actually it is…

      • Bartman

        No; it isn’t.

    • Sam J

      If they actually became THE WALKING DEAD, it would be ironic, but the laws of physics and reality and all…

    • Toshin

      It would be if in the next couple of days a zombie walked out of or into the funeral home. Even more so if it was trying to re-do/plan its funeral. Add to that ironic twist, if it mentioned that there use to be this lovely sign that posed a great question as to what makes us human.

    • John

      Where is the irony here? A billboard promoting a show about the dead walking on the wall of a funeral home? Maybe vaguely ironic because we bury dead people; they don’t walk around. It would be more ironic if the billboard was for an HMO, Day Care Center, or a vitamin supplement promoting health and a longer life.

  • elevendcc

    billboard, shmillboard. oddly, the first thing that pops into my mind is:
    I MISS THAT SHOW!! i want season 2 to star RIGHT NOW.

    • Jason C.

      THANK YOU!!!!!

  • Sam J

    They (zombies) wouldn’t make it to a funeral home. The sign next to a city morgue would be funnier and more ironic.

    • Redvector

      A better place still would be outside the White House.

      • Lindsay

        Thanks for wasting your time commenting on this.

      • candacetx

        Zing! And Lindsay for the win.

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