FIRING LINE: The Gun World ad on East Street.
FIRING LINE: The Gun World ad on East Street. David Nielsen

Gun shop's controversial Santa ad gets green light

A CONTROVERSIAL gun shop advertisement has been given the green light by the Advertising Standards Board, after a flurry of complaints triggered an investigation.

The Gun World ad first whipped up controversy when it appeared on a static billboard at Calamvale in November.

Several weeks later, the same advertisement appeared in electronic form on the new digital billboard on East St, Ipswich.

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

The Ad Standards Board confirmed it had received several complaints regarding the billboard's use of Santa Claus to allegedly target guns sales at children - a claim the bureau rejected in its official determination, released earlier this month.

Other complaints centred around the ad's general promotion of guns in Australia.

The Board said it considered whether or not the Children's Code applied to the advertisement, but decided the use of Santa Claus and the product being promoted were not directed primarily at children.

While finding the ad's link to Christmas, "might be considered in poor taste" the Board found no breach in either the Children's Code or the Code of Ethics and dismissed the complaint.