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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 January 2006, 10:22 GMT
50 Cent ad 'glamorised' gun crime
ASA handout of poster showing the rapper 50 Cent holding a gun and a baby
The advert for 50 Cent's film and album sparked 17 complaints
A poster of rapper 50 Cent holding a gun and a baby has been criticised for "glamorising" gun crime by the UK Advertising Standards Authority.

The Get Rich or Die Tryin' advert might be seen as condoning the use of weapons, the industry watchdog ruled.

The ad for his film soundtrack sparked 17 complaints from people saying it was irresponsible or offensive.

Record label Universal Music said the image was meant to communicate 50 Cent's fight to escape the ghetto.

The advertiser also said the poster showed the choice he had to make between the child and the violence represented by the gun.

The poster also showed the rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, his back naked and tattooed, with a gun tucked into his jeans. A baby's face was visible over his shoulder.

The rapper had already been criticised in the US for a similar film poster which featured a gun and a microphone.

After complaints, the poster campaign was withdrawn by the film's US distributor.

Social responsibility

50 Cent
The ASA noted the rapper's "cultural credibility" among young people

Some of those who complained objected that the poster had appeared in an area recently associated with gun crime involving children.

The ASA investigated the claims and found the poster in breach of advertising rules relating to social responsibility, violence, decency, anti-social behaviour and children.

The watchdog noted the link between the image and film plot but added: "We considered, however, that Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson had such cultural credibility, especially among young people, that his association with gang culture and criminal behaviour was likely to be seen as glamorising and condoning the possession and use of guns."


It also said the combination of the title Get Rich or Die Tryin' and the image of 50 Cent with a gun "could give the impression that success could be achieved through violence".

Meanwhile, the ASA also ruled that a poster advertising the TV remake of Kojak was offensive and could be harmful to children.

The poster featured the word "Mothersucker", which some viewers complained was an "obscene and offensive" phrase.

The ITV advert replaced the letter "o" with a graphic of a round, red lollipop, but the watchdog ruled that children would be unlikely to understand the reference to Kojak's habit of sucking lollipops.

ITV said the advert was in keeping with the gritty New York environment where the police drama was set, but apologised for any offence caused and added the poster would not be reused.


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