ASA rejects gun lobby ad complaints

The Advertising Standards Authority has dismissed an organised campaign of complaints by gun enthu- siasts against two posters calling for a ban on handguns.

A total of 93 people complained about a poster campaign from the Gun Control Network devised by Saatchi & Saatchi. One ad featured a picture of an empty grave next to the claim: “A .22 handgun makes the same size hole as a magnum,” and the other showed a picture of Robert Kennedy next to the claim: “If a .22 handgun is less deadly, why isn’t he less dead?”

In this month’s ASA report, the authority considered the ads were acceptable because they did not refer to the lawful use of .22 handguns or to the people who use them.

Bell Cablemedia was rapped for “unfairly denigrating BT” after complaints from BT against a national poster campaign through Rapier Stead & Bowden that used the headline “British Telecon”.

Citroë UK was censored over a press ad for its Saxo VTS through EURO RSCG Wnek Gosper. The ad was criticised for focusing on speed and power, and encouraging dangerous driving.

This month’s report also emphasises the ASA’s concern with slimming aids being given misleading names such as “Fat Sponge” and “Fat Buster”, which do not back up the claims implied in their names with evidence.

The ASA is warning skin-cream advertisers that it is on the look-out for false “anti-cellulite” claims.

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