Amazon Studios will remove advertisements showing Nazi-inspired images to promote its new drama "The Man In The High Castle" from New York City subways.
"Amazon has just decided to pull the ads," Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for New York City Transit and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), said on Tuesday, 24 November.
The advertisements were a part of a wrap of the New York City Shuttle that runs between Grand Central Terminal and Times Square. They did not feature in traditional billboards or signs, but wrapped the seats and walls of the subway cars. While some seats had an insignia showing Japan's "Rising Sun", a German "Iron Eagle" draped other seat walls.
Based on the 1962 novel by Philip K. Dick, "The Man In The High Castle" received critical acclaim in the first ten episodes that Amazon released earlier this month. It follows the story of Americans fighting in an alternate future where the Axis Powers have won World War II.
Politicians and support organisations criticised the ad campaign. New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio reportedly termed the advertisements as "irresponsible and offensive".
The Anti-Defamation League said that the advertisements were out of context, and people would not immediately acknowledge that they were created for an Amazon programme because of the symbols ascribed to Nazi Germany, Variety reported.
— Marisa Kabas (@MarisaKabas) November 23, 2015
However, MTA said that the ad campaigns didn't violate any rules.
"The ads do not violate our content-neutral ad standards and thus we have no grounds to reject them," Ortiz said. "The MTA is a government agency and can't accept or reject ads based on how we feel them; we have to follow the standards approved by our board."
Earlier in April, the governmental agency adopted a new rule that does not allow the acceptance of advertisements that are aimed to express opinion or support for a cause. Commercials for products, even TV shows – like the Amazon one are considered to be fit.
Amazon had scheduled to keep the ad campaign running from 15 November to 14 December with 260 subway station posters appearing between 9 November and 14 December, Variety reported.
The shuttle services are popular among TV media outlets who have used the shuttle services to promote their shows. Time Warner's Turner had used the subway line to cause awareness for its baseball coverage and Fox used it to draw attention to its January-released show "Empire".
Watch the trailer of "The Man In The High Castle" here.