An Instagram advertisement posted by ThruDark in the Summer of 2023 resulted in 11 complaints to the ASA by individuals who considered that the advertisement condoned violence against women, and glamourised guns. The post in question featured an individual in a black hood firing a gun repeatedly against a pink coated figure. Many of the complainants understood that the pink coated figure was a woman.

In response to the ASA’s enquiries, ThruDark stated that it was clear that the pink coated figure was a mannequin (without any feminine features) and attributed the advertisement to its “tongue in cheek humour” and “disruptive messaging”. The brand also pointed to a number of niche references made in the advertisement in support of its contention that the post was intended as a parody, did not encourage violence, and had very different messaging to that complained of.

The ASA disagreed and found that members of the public were likely to understand the video as a man shooting at a woman, or preparing to do so. For these reasons, it was liable to cause offence and was irresponsible. In addition, the ASA further found that the post glamourised violence and guns.

Register for updates



Portfolio Close
Portfolio list
Title CV Email

Remove All