New 50 Cent Billboard angers British: it's not just a mic anymore

Filed under: Media

We've previously reported the angry responses to billboards promoting some movie by rapper 50 Cent where he's topless and holding a phallic microphone, but the movie's publicists have taken things one step further in the U.K., where ads for the movie's soundtrack plastered all over Britain show 50 Cent with a gun tucked into the back of his pants and a baby slung over his shoulder. The British Advertising Standards Authority complained that this image could be seen as promoting the use of weapons. The independent regulatory authority issued the report after 17 people complained and asked that the billboard come down.

Universal Music Group, the company promoting the album, claims the poster represents "the artist's fight to escape the ghetto." UMG also said "the images of the child and the gun represented life choices 50 Cent had to make." Um, does UMG really think this highly stylized, even "sexy" image really has some metaphorical value that outweighs the danger of making it look cool to be a heavily-armed father, particularly given how many kids are injured or killed due to their parents' sloppy treatment of personal firearms around the home? I don't really blame 50 Cent, but if I were pissed, who better to blame than the advertising schmucks and the record company who know this kind of irresponsible imagery sells records?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.