Featured in Dr. Martens' British print campaign is Joey Ramone, the group's singer-songwriter who died of lymphoma in 2001. Dead artists Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols also are part of the campaign, NME.com reported Tuesday.
"Obviously, we are in the same position as Courtney Love, as well as the estates of the others depicted," said Ramone's brother, Mickey Leigh. "We were never consulted about this ad."
As executor of his brother's estate, Leigh said he never would have approved this ad "as Joey never wore these shoes."
The ad series, for which Dr. Martens has apologized, shows images of dead rockers in angelic poses wearing Dr. Martens boots.
Leigh said his brother was Jewish, making the ad "that much more inappropriate, inconsiderate and contemptible."
Dr. Martens, which fired the the developing agency, said it didn't commission the work, adding it ran counter to the company's marketing philosophy.
The agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, said it thought the campaign was edgy but tasteful.