A watchmaker was criticised today for glamorising gun crime and violent behaviour in an advert designed to evoke James Bond.
Retailer Klaus Kobec was ticked off by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for the newspaper advert which showed a man pointing a small gun towards the reader.
The image, placed in London’s Evening Standard, sparked complaints which were upheld by the watchdog today.
Text alongside the image read: “This fabulous new gentleman’s watch is not only suave and sophisticated, it’s incredibly sexy looking too.
“With its nostalgic face and exceptionally robust stainless steel body it attracts admiring glances wherever it’s worn.”
Direct Mail Services (DMS), which handles marketing for Klaus Kobec, argued readers were likely to interpret the advert as a “tongue in cheek” pastiche of the fictional character, James Bond.
It claimed the silver revolver and the phrase “Diamonds are Forever,” written in bold print next to the controversial image, would be familiar to readers who would recognise the 007 theme.
DMS argued the advert appeared in media targeted at an adult audience and said they did not wish to cause offence.
But the ASA upheld complaints and ruled the advert could not reappear in the same form.
“Although we acknowledged that the ad used a play on words associated with the Bond theme, we noted the image of the gun featured prominently in the ad and focussed on the barrel of the gun rather than on the man’s face or character,” the ASA said.
“We considered that, especially because the gun was pointing directly toward the reader, the ad was likely to be seen as glamorising gun culture and violence.”
The image, which appeared in various publications over a prolonged period, was removed pending the investigation.