The provocative hotel chain Standard was criticized on the blog MakeMeASammich after it ran an advertisement featuring a woman crushed by a suitcase.
The image depicts a woman in a short black dress lying on a concrete floor, her face obstructed by a black suitcase and her body exposed.
The blogger, who goes only by Rosie, argued that the ad “trivializes violence against women” by using victims as bait.
Rosie began a Change.org petition asking the hotel to apologize for capitalizing on violence against women, and asking the chain to donate money to a charity that supports domestic violence or rape survivors.
In response to the petition, creative director for Andre Balazs Properties Claire Darrow said the hotel surrenders its “ads to art, so to speak”, adding that the hotel wished to contribute aesthetically to the magazine instead of simply advertising.
The ad in question is in fact a piece of art selected from a selection of photographs taken by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm, whose previous ads for The Standard have also sparked controversy.
One advertisement featured a man with his head in a woman’s sweater, and another depicted a woman spitting into a second woman’s bowl of soup.
In an interview with the New York Times, Balazs himself defended the advertisements, claiming they brought a degree of sophistication to the hotel.
Despite the petition, The Standard has said it will continue to run the advertisement.