Clothing retailer Mamnick’s ad breached ASA code, regulator rules

Clothing retailer Mamnick has been told by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that an advert it tweeted out breached CAP Code.

The tweet, posted on 25th October 2021, stated: “This is one of the new jerseys we are introducing to the AW21 CC.Mamnick range of cycling kit …”. The post included an image of a model dressed in cycle wear, wearing coloured reflective sunglasses and holding a machine gun.

The complainant, who believed the ad glamorised guns, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, and the ASA said Mamnick “did not provide a substantive response” to its enquiries.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.3 (Social responsibility), said the ASA, and ‘must not appear again in its current form’. “We told Mamnick to ensure their ads were socially responsible by not glamorising weapons,” the regulator said.

“The CAP Code stated that marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society,” said an ASA statement. “The ASA understood that the ad promoted the cycling jersey worn by the model, which was available to buy. We understood the gun shown in the ad was not equipment which would be used in a sport or was one that would typically be used for legal hunting.

“We therefore considered that, in the context of an ad for cycle wear, the presence of the gun was incongruous and jarring. Although we accepted that the gun was not being pointed at viewers, we noted the model had his finger on the trigger. We also noted the sunglasses worn by the model hid his eyes, but he appeared to be looking straight at the camera while holding the gun. We considered that gave a menacing and aggressive tone to the ad. We considered the gun had been included merely as an accessory to enhance the appeal of the cycle jersey featured to make the ad more stylish and edgy.

Read more: Criterium Cycles’ Richard Bowker on what cycle retailers can expect to see in 2022

“Although we considered that, of itself, the inclusion of a gun in an ad would not always be irresponsible, we considered the styling in this ad alongside the gun’s incongruous appearance glamorised the gun to draw attention to the brand. We therefore concluded the ad was irresponsible and in breach of the Code.”

Rebecca Morley

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