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Last Updated: Monday, 18 April, 2005, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
Reebok 'gun' advert is withdrawn
50 Cent
50 Cent is featured counting up to nine in the advert
Sports firm Reebok has pulled a TV ad after a mother whose son was shot dead complained it glamorised gun crime.

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

The ASA is investigating 54 complaints from viewers over a reference to him having been shot nine times.

Reebok said it was "socially responsible" but had withdrawn the ad as some people found it offensive.

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

We know how brave it was for Reebok to do this and we appreciate it
Vice-chairman of Mothers Against Guns Michelle Forbes
Mrs Cope, who founded campaign group Mothers Against Guns, said last week: "It is disgusting. My son died of one bullet - 50 Cent is very lucky to be shot nine times and survive."

She also called for a boycott of Reebok goods.

But after Reebok decided to withdraw the campaign featuring 50 Cent, Michelle Forbes, vice-chairman of Mothers Against Guns, told BBC News: "We are pleased Reebok has shown it is socially responsible - it is the right decision.

"We know how brave it was for Reebok to do this and we appreciate it.

'Positive and empowering'

"We have nothing against the campaign but the ads featuring 50 Cent could have been very damaging for children."

A spokesman for Reebok said: "The Reebok 'I Am What I Am' advertising campaign is intended to be a positive and empowering celebration of this right of freedom of self expression, individuality and authenticity.

"However, when the 50 Cent television advertisement began to air, a small number of the general public found it offensive.

"Therefore Reebok took the decision to immediately and indefinitely stop broadcasting the 50 Cent spot."

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

A spokesman for the ASA said it was still investigating the complaints and would make an adjudication "soon".

Nightclub murder charge dropped
16 Aug 04 |  London


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