A.C. Alliance acknowledges ad's concert photo was altered

Posted: August 16, 2014

The Atlantic City Alliance acknowledged Thursday that the crowd in the photo of the Lady Antebellum beach concert used in full-page newspaper ads to promote the resort had been digitally altered and contained repeated images of some of the same people.

But Jeff Guaracino, communications officer for the alliance, a casino-funded marketing group, said the ad did not misrepresent the size of the crowd. The ad's slogan is "We Have Something for Everyone. No Wonder Everyone's Here."

He said the digital changes were made by the alliance's creative director and were designed to incorporate photos from various views, as well as to cover up video towers and alcohol.

"It's three different angles," Guaracino said. "The creative director took three different vantage points to communicate the various experiences that people saw. Ads are Photoshopped."

He said the discussion of the photo's digital alteration "misses the point." More than 60,000 people attended the concert by Lady Antebellum as well as one by Blake Shelton days earlier.

"The ad didn't say there were a million people here," he said. "If we really did a good job in Photoshop, we should have put people in bikinis."

Widely circulated photos released after the concerts, including sweeping aerial shots, and on the alliance's website, were not digitally altered, he said.

The ads are designed to counter the bad publicity stemming from the news about casino closures, most recently Revel's announcement of a Sept. 10 shutdown.

The ads appeared in The Inquirer, the Star-Ledger, and the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

The campaign is designed to highlight more than 95 percent hotel occupancy and the big crowds that showed up for Shelton and Lady Antebellum.

Although hard to distinguish in the newspapers, an examination of the art digitally shows some of the same people - a beefy guy in a red shirt, a skinny guy in a pink shirt, the same security guard - several times.

Based on photos taken by Tom Briglia for the alliance, the ad shows the crowd from stage view, with Bally's and the Steel Pier off in the distance. Briglia also works as a freelance photographer for The Inquirer and Daily News.

"When you clean up any photo for a paid ad," Guaracino said, "you take out some of that stuff. We have not changed one thing about saying how many people are there. Those are real pictures.

"If we took Revel out, then you'd have a news story," he added.


arosenberg@phillynews.com

609-823-0453

@amysrosenberg

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