Friday 15 December 2017

Newspaper's 'Limerick crime scene' ad draws 20 complaints

The ‘Irish Examiner’ billboard that sparked anger in Limerick
The ‘Irish Examiner’ billboard that sparked anger in Limerick

OVER 20 complaints have been received by the Advertising Standards Authority about an advertising promotion by the 'Irish Examiner' to highlight an upcoming crime investigation.

Editor Tim Vaughan said he was standing over the campaign, and has declined to apologise for the anger caused in Limerick by the advert.

Mr Vaughan said readers would be "surprised" by the series, which could rebuke the stereotypes of certain cities, because crime levels in Limerick had declined in recent years.

He urged people to reserve judgment until publication next Thursday.

Over 20 written complaints were received by the authority within a 24-hour period this week, and further complaints were being compiled for review, said a spokesperson.

One Limerick billboard shows King John's Castle and the River Shannon, with crime scene tape plastered across the image, warning: "Do not enter." The question is then asked: "Just how safe is Limerick?"

Mr Vaughan said he would apologise for "any misunderstanding" regarding their intentions in promoting the crime supplement, but added: "I don't believe we have done anything wrong."

Letters of complaint were sent to the Cork-based newspaper this week by the Mayor of Limerick Gerry McLoughlin and the Limerick Communications Office, but neither have been published in the paper to date.

Mr McLoughlin said he believed the advertising campaign was "irresponsible".

Laura Ryan of the Limerick Communications Office said the advert was "offensive, ill-advised and in bad taste", especially at the start of the tourist season, which Mr Vaughan rebuked as a "red herring".

Irish Independent

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