ASA probes Greene King ‘gun’ press ad

Brewer Greene King is likely to come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority following complaints against a press ad that shows the barrel of a gun with the strapline “Excuse me, I believe that’s my seat.” The complainants object that the ad is threatening and endorses gun culture.

The campaign, created by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, has prompted nine complaints and is being investigated by the ASA.

Earlier this year the ASA threw out complaints against a cinema ad by the brewer, which parodied sexual foreplay and was shown before a 12A-rated film (MW September 30). The ad showed a woman lying in bed, blindfolded with her wrists wrapped in scarves. The camera cut between a dog licking her feet and her partner drinking in the pub.

The ASA has upheld complaints against Britvic Soft Drinks’ Tango television campaign, showing a man wrapped in a carpet packed with oranges, balanced on top of a pyramid of concrete construction pipes. The man was then sent careering down a hill and into a tree. The watchdog received four complaints about the ad and asked for it to be withdrawn earlier this month.

Though the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) “strongly disagreed” that the commercial could encourage dangerous play and lead to accidents, the ASA has ruled that the ad could easily appeal to a child’s sense of mischief, experimentation and adventure.

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