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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 February, 2005, 07:23 GMT
Brewer's shotgun advert is banned
The Greene King advert led to 51 complaints to the industry watchdog
An advert for beer featuring a double-barrelled shotgun has been banned by the industry watchdog after it sparked more than 50 complaints.

The advert for Ruddles Ale, which appeared in newspapers, showed the gun positioned between two pub stools and pointed in the direction of the reader.

Wording alongside the gun read: "Excuse me, I believe that's my seat."

Suffolk-based Greene King, which brews Ruddles, said the gun dramatised a "fictional" situation.

Those who objected included the British Association of Shooting and Conservation, the Gun Trade Association and the Metropolitan Black Police Association.

'Widespread offence'

They said the advert was "offensive and irresponsible" because it "condoned the use of guns to threaten people".

Greene King said the advert - which led to 51 complaints - was part of a campaign called "Uncompromisingly from the country".

The company, based in Bury St Edmunds, argued the gun in the advert "merely dramatised the uncompromising element of the situation, which was fictional and exaggerated".

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the image of the gun, pointing at the reader, "could be seen as threatening and was likely to cause serious or widespread offence".

It told Greene King not to repeat the same advert.

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