The ad for the brand Fly53 shows a man holding a gun against the head of a seated second man and clutching him roughly by the throat. The bottom of the ad contained a list of words, such as “Confession, Revival, Retribution” and in small text the strapline “Fly53 outfitters for the resistance conceived, designed and born into the world to protect and serve the 24 hour party people.”
One complainant said that the ad’s depiction of gun crime was offensive, irresponsible and unsuitable for a music magazine because it glamorised violence.
Fly53 defended the ad saying that it was part of its “House of Fly53” marketing initiative that encouraged consumers to explore a relevant website. It was intended to show people in a state of “heightened senses” with blurred boundaries between the real and surreal and the NME ad was based on the “Confession” room.
NME added that as a fashion brand it expected Fly53’swork to be edgy and provocative. It added that it would not publish this ad again.
The ASA said that it considered the ad imagery “aggressive and threatening” and it concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and was irresponsible and unsuitable for display in a music magazine.