Page last updated at 08:53 GMT, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

De Niro movie poster criticised

The Righteous Kill poster at Stockwell Tube station. Pic by Flickr user coconinoco
The poster was on display at Stockwell station (Pic: Flickr user coconinoco)

A film poster sited at Stockwell Tube station during the Jean Charles de Menezes inquest could have caused serious offence, a regulator has ruled.

The poster for Righteous Kill was displayed at the station where Mr de Menezes, 27, was shot dead after being mistaken for a suicide bomber.

Its tagline read: "There's nothing wrong with a little shooting as long as the right people get shot."

The Advertising Standards Authority said it breached guidelines on decency.

"We understood the siting of the poster at the station was unintentional, but nevertheless considered that the text had the potential to cause serious offence in that location," the ASA said in its adjudication.

It added that the poster, which also featured stars Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, breached rules on social responsibility.


The ASA welcomed the decision by film distributor Lions Gate and advertising company CBS to quickly remove the poster - but it was still on display when members of the inquest jury visited Stockwell station in September.

Jean Charles de Menezes
Mr de Menezes was shot dead on a Tube train at Stockwell

Six other complaints against the film's advertising campaign were dismissed.

Five members of the public contacted the ASA to say they thought the text on the poster glamorised violence. A further complainant said the film's newspaper advertisement was irresponsible at a time of concern about knife and gun crime.

'Wryly humorous'

Lions Gate said there had been "no intention to offend" or "to suggest it was morally acceptable to kill people".

The ASA acknowledged public concerns about crime, but noted that "the poster and press ad did not contain any violence or depiction of guns".

"We considered that most people were likely to understand that the poster reflected the content of the film and the quote was intended to be wryly humorous," it added.

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino
The film starred Robert De Niro (left) and Al Pacino as police detectives

Two other film campaigns have caused concern for the public over the last couple of months.

Advertisements for Guy Ritchie's gangster caper Rock N Rolla prompted two people to complain that gun violence was being glorified.

The ASA agreed with film company Warner Bros that the guns were not a predominant element in its poster campaign.

However, it ruled that an internet advertisement - which showed a character pointing two guns alongside the text "Hit Me" - condoned violence and was in breach of standards.

A TV advert for Nic Cage action film Bangkok Dangerous was also found to be in breach of guidelines because it showed images of violence before the 9pm watershed.

Both adverts are not to be shown again in their current form.



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