ASA calls a halt to Ruddles County shotgun campaign

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a press ad for Greene King-owned Ruddles County beer, which featured a double-barrelled shotgun. The advertisement, which was the subject of 51 complaints, has been criticised as irresponsible because it trivialises the use of guns. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the Gun Trade Association, the Union Pub Company and the Metropolitan Black Police Association all objected to the press advertisements, created by WFCA Integrated.

British Gas has been censured for its television ad showing an elderly couple describing what happened when their central heating broke down on Christmas Day and they were rescued by a British Gas engineer. A voiceover says: “Over Christmas, our engineers are there to look after the things you take for granted.”The ASA ruled that the ad, created by Clemmow Hornby Inge, cannot be shown again because it misleadingly implies that British Gas engineers are available at any time of the day or night, all year round.

The watchdog is investigating complaints against a Government-backed road safety campaign, which sent a mailer in the guise of a Valentine’s card. The card, sent by the London Safety Camera Partnership, showed a red rose and said: “For my Valentine.” Inside the card was a picture of a crashed car with the words: “I’m sorry I did not mean to kill you… I really miss you.”

The ASA has received 23 complaints about the mailer’s “distressing and offensive” nature.

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