Moments before the American public began voting for their next president on Tuesday, a New York advertising agency made a last ditch effort to remind the voters to consider the issues when casting their ballots, and not the candidates' race.

Tor Myren, the creative director of New York's Grey Group Global Advertising Network, designed a poster, titled "Let the issues be the issues", in which the images of presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain were manipulated to appear as though Obama is white and McCain is black.

Myren explained to the British Telegraph that the aim of the ad was to communicate a message to the public urging them to base their decision on the candidates' policies, rather than their race.

However, despite Myren's positive vision, it appears that the ads will not be seen by as much of the public as he had hoped. Because of the unique nature of the posters, passersby had begun tearing them down and collecting them.

The New York advertising agency was inspired by a Benetton clothing company advertising campaign which featured provocative images questioning the race issue. For example, in 1993, the fashion house launched a campaign in which white celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger were featured as black, black celebrities such as Spike Lee as white and Pope John Paul II was turned into an Asian man.