'˜Irresponsible' flyer advertising guns and knives in Sheffield is banned
An '˜irresponsible' and '˜offensive'Â flyer advertising guns and knives for sale in Sheffield has been banned after a horrified member of the public complained.
The leaflet was dropped through the letterboxes ofÂ around 1,000Â homes in the cityin April by the retailer Atlas Arms, which has a shop on Middlewood Road in Hillsborough.
It featured photos of weapons including a '˜Predator' knife, a '˜long reach machete'Â and '˜sniper rifle', and promisedÂ customers free delivery and a complimentaryÂ gift with orders over Â£100.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigated a complaint from a member of the public who had receivedÂ the leaflet and branded itÂ '˜offensive and irresponsible'.
The seller defended the advert, saying it was aimed at people over the age of 18 and statedÂ that photo ID was required on receipt of any items.
But the watchdog upheld the complaint, concluding that the leaflet was likely to cause '˜seriousÂ or widespread offence' and was '˜irresponsible' since it could be viewed by children at the homes to which it was sent.
It found the advert breached theÂ Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code rules relating to '˜social responsibility' and '˜harm and offence'.
'We consideredÂ that theÂ presentation of large images of the air rifle and machete in the ad alongsideÂ promotional messaging, and the decorative nature and titles of some of the items,Â contributed to the likelihood of the ad causing offence to consumers,' stated the ruling, published today, Wednesday, August 29.
The verdict continues: 'Additionally, the ad featuring guns and knives had been delivered directly intoÂ people's homes, during a climate of widely reported concerns about rising levels ofÂ violent crime, in particular knife crime, both nationally and in Sheffield.
'Therefore inÂ that context, we considered those factors also contributed to the ad being likely to cause offence to consumers.'
The watchdog ruled that the advert must not appear again in its current form and told Atlas Arsm to ensure future marketing material is prepared responsibly and not distributed in an untargeted manner.
Atlas Arms told The Star in April that it had pulled the flyer from circulation following concerns raised by residents.
Hillsborough ward councillorÂ Josie Paszek criticised the '˜aggressive marketing' of the weaponsÂ at the time and reported the matter to police.