"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.