Gun World advertisement on the new digital billboard on East Street, Ipswich.
Gun World advertisement on the new digital billboard on East Street, Ipswich. David Nielsen

Ipswich billboard promoting gun sales triggers complaints

THE GUN shop owner behind a controversial billboard says he doesn't know what all the fuss is about.

If nothing else, the festively-themed advertisement for Gun World has succeeded in getting attention.

The ad first whipped up controversy when it appeared on a static billboard at Calamvale several weeks ago. This week it appeared in electronic form on the new digital billboard on East St, Ipswich.

The advertisement features a young woman dressed in a Santa outfit wielding a handgun, with the words: "Santa knows what you really want for Christmas."

The Advertising Standards Bureau confirmed an investigation was under way after complaints.

But Gun World owner Andrew Peat said he believed the complaints were both an overreaction and a sign of double standards.

"We are a legal business and we jump every hurdle," Mr Peats said.

STICK 'EM UP: An ad for a gun shop on the corner of Algester and Beaudesert Roads at Calamvale.
STICK 'EM UP: An ad for a gun shop on the corner of Algester and Beaudesert Roads at Calamvale.

"When you look at all the ads for alcohol and gambling nobody seems to bat an eyelid. There seems to be a witch-hunt against our sport."

A spokeswoman from the bureau said "fewer than 20" official complaints had been made, and it was considering whether there had been a breach of the the standards.

She said the complaints focused on the link to Santa Claus and possibly appealing to children.

If the bureau finds a breach, Gun World will be given the opportunity to reply before possibly being asked to modify or remove the ad.

A report is expected to be released within the next fortnight.



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