Are Reebok glamorising gun crime? Lucy Cope of Southwark believes so and has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority regarding an advertisement featuring 50 cent. Mrs Cope's son was shot dead outside a London club three years ago and she considers the current Reebok advertising campaign "disgusting".
The ads in question show the rapper counting up to nine - this is apparently a reference to him being shot nine times and not, as Londonist originally thought, just him struggling to reach ten.
Reebok do not seem too phased by Mrs Cope's call for parents to boycott their product:
"Reebok does not condone or support every action, choice or view expressed by the hundreds of athletes and entertainers who wear our products."
Rather than condone it they simply play up to it in an advert that finishes with the question: "Tell me, who do you plan to massacre next"? 50 Cent (real name Curtis Jackson) simply laughs - all the way to the bank.
Londonist doesn't believe that banning this ad will reduce gun crime anymore than banning the Grand Theft Auto games would, but if companies like Reebok are going to tap into the already glamorised world of gang violence then they should at least have the balls to admit it and not hide behind the weak argument that their adverts are actually a positive message for underachievers.
Personally, if we were going to run an ad campaign along the lines of I AM WHAT I AM and needed an odd-looking, uneducated, inarticulate, belligerent star then we would have brought Popeye back in. True to the phrase and a nicely topical Jamie Oliver-style appeal for the kids to eat more greens.
And he could take Curtis in a fight any day of the week.