Virgin Media has come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) yet again for one of its ad campaigns.
As part of the campaign Virgin Media mailed out a plain white envelope which carried no markings to identify the advertiser.
On the right hand side of the envelope was a small hole that went right through the envelope designed to look like a bullet hole surrounded by burn marks.
Inside the envelope a letter headed with Virgin Media's logo and addressed either to the recipient or 'the occupier' contained the heading 'Faster than a speeding' next to a similar 'bullet' hole.
The ad sparked complaints from 10 recipients, who questioned the acceptability of the use of an envelope that appeared to have sustained a gun shot.
Five complainants considered the approach particularly inappropriate at a time when gun crime is a major concern in society.
The ASA also challenged whether the envelope made clear that it contained marketing material.
Virgin Media defended the ad, claiming that was clear that the envelope had not actually sustained a gun shot.
The company believes that it was obvious that the hole was stylised and therefore unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
The ASA agreed with Virgin Media on this point, but still maintained that the blank envelope failed to give any indication that the mailing was marketing material.
On this point, the ad breached advertising rules on recognising marketing communications and identifying marketers.
The ASA instructed Virgin Media to ensure that future mailing envelopes state clearly that they contain marketing material.
Virgin Media was rapped by the ASA in May over an ad which claimed that it was the cheapest way to watch Setanta Sports, which sparked a complaint from rival Sky.
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