Freelander ad banned after 348 complaints about gun

LONDON - A gun-toting housewife has caused the latest Land Rover Freelander Sport ad to be banned, after 348 people complained that the spot glamorised gun culture.

Shot in the style of a thriller the ad, created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, shows a woman retrieving a gun from a drawer.

At first, it seems as if she is about to murder her husband with it as she moves downstairs and moves up behind him as he sits in his Rover Freelander.

However, it is not murder she has on her mind. The wife instead fires the weapon in the air like a starting pistol, giving her husband his cue to drive off, highlighting the sporty nature of the Freelander.

Viewers complained to Ofcom that the spot glamorised or normalised guns, making them look fun and cool. Some people also pointed out that handguns are illegal in the UK, and that the gun, which was shown being kept in an underwear drawer, was not stored responsibly.

Ofcom has ruled that the ad must not be shown again. It rejected the agency's argument that the "film noir" style made it clear that it was a piece of drama and not reality.

The watchdog pointed out that its duty was to ensure that broadcasts do not cause widespread offence, and that many people found the glamorisation and normalisation of guns, even indirectly, to be offensive.

"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."

It ruled the ad in breach of the code regarding offence advertising.

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