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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 September, 2004, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Land Rover gun commercial banned
Land Rover
Media regulator Ofcom received 348 complains from viewers
A TV advert for Land Rover featuring a woman firing a gun has been banned by watchdogs after almost 350 viewers complained it glamorised gun culture.

The advertisement shows a woman taking a gun from a drawer and brandishing it as she chases a man leaving her house.

It eventually becomes clear that the gun is a starting pistol.

The makers of the ad said it showed a woman playing a joke on her husband, suggesting that "the Freelander Sport triggered sporting behaviour".

The glamorisation and normalisation of guns, even indirectly, is simply offensive to many people
Ofcom

As the man in the advert climbs into a Land Rover vehicle, and with the music becoming more dramatic, the woman is seen taking aim with the gun before shooting skywards.

The man then smiles and drives away.

Media regulator Ofcom received 348 complaints, giving the commercial a place in the top 10 most complained about adverts of all time.

Stored irresponsibly

Most viewers complained that the commercial glamorised or normalised gun culture despite handguns being illegal in the UK.

Many also said the gun was stored irresponsibly.

This advert was created to reinforce the association with sport that the model inspires
Land Rover
Ofcom ruled the advert had breached guidelines on harm and offence and must not be shown again.

"Given regular coverage of high-profile shooting incidents and public concern about the wider social impact of the so-called gun culture, the glamorisation and normalisation of guns, even indirectly, is simply offensive to many people," Ofcom said.

The use of the starter pistol "in both an apparent casual manner and just for fun" coupled with the domestic setting "normalised the ownership of guns", it added.

"Taking all of the circumstances into account, including the very strong feeling expressed by the complainants, we concluded that the commercial, albeit unintentionally, made light of genuine public concern about gun culture."

A Land Rover spokeswoman told BBC News Online the company was "very sorry" it had caused offence to viewers.

She said: "Land Rover is extremely concerned to hear viewers found the advertisement distasteful.

"In creating all our advertisements we do follow guidelines set down by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre.

"This advert was created to reinforce the association with sport that the model inspires - it was intended as a creative and distinctive piece of advertising."




SEE ALSO:
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19 Jul 04  |  Scotland
Watchdog's adverts plan attacked
21 Jan 04  |  Entertainment


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