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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 April, 2005, 08:01 GMT 09:01 UK
Mother's fury at 'gun glamour' ad
50 Cent
50 Cent is featured counting up to nine in the advert
A woman whose son was shot dead outside a London club has called for a boycott on Reebok products over a TV advert she says is glamorising gun crime.

Lucy Cope, of Southwark, south London, has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the advert featuring US rapper 50 Cent.

The ASA is investigating 36 complaints from viewers over an apparent reference to him having been shot nine times.

Reebok said the advert was "positive" and the company "socially responsible".

Mrs Cope's son Damian, 22, was shot in Holborn, north London, in 2002.

'Positive message'

Mrs Cope, who founded campaign group Mothers Against Guns, said: "It is disgusting. My son died of one bullet. 50 Cent is very lucky to be shot nine times and survive.

"I say all parents should boycott Reebok until such time as they pull the ad and apologise."

Reebok, however, said its I Am What I Am 50 Cent advert carried a positive message.

A spokeswoman said: "Reebok does not condone or support every action, choice or view expressed by the hundreds of athletes and entertainers who wear our products.

Damian Cope
Mr Cope was shot outside a London nightclub in 2002

"However, we do support their individuality and their right to express themselves freely."

The spokeswoman added: "50 Cent has become one of the world's most successful recording artists.

"The advert reflects the facts of 50 Cent's life to date - it references what he has had to overcome to reach his global iconic status.

"This is a positive call to our audience - whoever or wherever you are, you can achieve."

She said Reebok had a long history of philanthropy and had been "out in front in the fight for human rights for nearly 20 years".

The advert shows 50 Cent counting up to nine - seen as a reference to him having been shot nine times.

The ASA said Reebok could be forced to withdraw it if it was found to be in breach of advertising codes. Mrs Cope hopes to meet with company bosses this week to discuss it.



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