An advertising campaign for season nine of ‘The Walking Dead’ spooked children on the Third Street Promenade late last week.

The AMC show that explores life after the zombie apocalypse put up posters at 1201 Third Street Promenade, a building that Barnes and Noble vacated last January, featuring actors from the show dressed as zombies. A sea of dark figures with filthy hair and wizened skin stared down passers-by at the north end of the shopping district.

Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. recently installed chairs, games and a piano outside the old Barnes and Noble building to encourage shoppers to linger. But many parents who visited the Promenade on Friday quickly left the area after their children were frightened by the posters.

‘The Walking Dead’ had not yet finished its ad campaign, however. The show hired actors to dress up as zombies and walk around the Promenade, scaring some young children. Other parents and children, however, posed for photos with the actors.

Kathleen Rawson, the CEO of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM), said the City of Santa Monica informed the property owner that the posters violated municipal code and the owner took them down over the weekend.

“We’ve been asking that property owner to put graphics in the window to make the property less dark while it’s undergoing a tenant transition,” Rawson said. “They were trying to give us what we wanted but we didn’t get exactly what we were looking for.”

A City spokesperson said Code Enforcement cannot disclose at this time how the posters violated code.

Rawson said DTSM received two or three complaints about the posters. Many more residents took to social media to voice their concerns.

“This seemed to cause quite a stir,” Rawson said. “One resident who contacted me was absolutely livid.”

AMC did not respond to a request for comment.


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