The Times says it was an "unfortunate coincidence."
New York Times online readers were treated to an unfortunate juxtaposition Monday when an Apple iPad Air ad ran next to an article about Malaysian Airlines flight 370. The homepage showed an underwater scuba diver next to the headline, “Malaysia Says Jet Went Down in Ocean.”
Ad Age’s Michael Learmonth caught the gaffe:
This was a case of bad luck for Apple as advertisers do not have prior knowledge of what headlines will appear on a homepage. A spokesperson for the Times told Ad Age, “It was an unfortunate coincidence that this particular creative ran adjacent to that particular article. The ad was taken down by mutual agreement and we are still determining a resolution regarding placing the ad again.”