Bill Groner, a senior partner at Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern, the law firm that sponsored the ad, contended that the release form indeed allows ad companies to make illustrative adjustments to the image.
According to the form, the model must agree to the terms that "the images may be combined with other images, text and graphics, and cropped, altered or modified."
"This means you can crop, Photoshop, do anything you want with it - anybody can who bought the rights [to the photo]," said Groner
The ad, he noted, also included a written disclaimer saying the firefighter is an actor.
"These are my clients - they're people I have enormous passion for," said Groner
The purpose of the campaign, Groner
and Barker independently explained, was to inform the roughly 40,000 injured and sick 9/11 first responders of their compensation rights, and to let them know that Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern
is available to represent them.
If it weren't for the bizarre coincidence that he
was a firefighter, this would have never come up," echoed Groner