A Johannesburg advertising agency shot itself in the foot when it published an ad referencing Oscar Pistorius' fatal shooting of Reeva Steenkamp and his recent psychiatric evaluation at Pretoria's Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital.
The Advertising Standards Authority ordered Toast Media to remove immediately the newspaper advert that purported to portray Pistorius' mental state.
The image, in the style of a Rorschach blot that clearly resembles two handguns and a broken heart, was intended to be a means of marketing the agency's "alternative creative results".
Cape Town reader David Beelders said the image presented "a twisted mental image of Oscar Pistorius and pre-empts what the psychiatric evaluation will reveal". It was also "insensitive and offensive" to Pistorius' family and friends, Beelders said.
Toast Media maintained that there was no desire to offend, only "to illustrate creativity".
But the ASA found that the agency had capitalised on "tragedy for commercial gain". It ruled: "It communicates as a matter of fact that Pistorius is preoccupied with guns ... and in doing so is likely to be perceived as offensive."
Toast Media spokesman Neo Mothopeng said yesterday that the agency would not appeal the ruling.
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