Shootingtimes.co.uk is backing calls from online forum members to complain about the negative portrayal of shooters in the latest Privilege car insurance advertisement.

Forum member, Stacy26, wrote: “[The advertisement shows a] load of toffs arriving by helicopter who are having a jolly old time and meanwhile Nigel Havers is bemoaning how ‘the poor old birds won’t be able to fly away again’.”

“I’m furious that a completely unrelated and seemingly uninformed company can show such biased negative propaganda to the general public. If you are as incensed as I am, write to Privilege and ask it to revoke and apologise for the advertisement. We do not need this kind of media, brainwashing the public into holding negative opinions about our sport.”

To see other users’ forum posts on the subject, head to the Privilege thread.

The Advertising Standards Agency has received a number of complaints in response to this – www.shootingtimes.co.uk contacted Privilege to discuss the controversial advertisement.

It issued the following statement to explain why shooting was depicted in this way: “Please accept our apologies for any upset this advertisement may have caused your readers. This was certainly not our intention. The objective of the advertisement is to communicate that everyone can aspire to a more privileged lifestyle.”

“Shooting was used to dramatise this type of lifestyle, just as the sports of polo and golf have been used in previous Privilege advertisements. Research conducted before the advertisement was produced suggested that shooting as a sport does have ‘posh’ connotations. The advertisement was tested extensively prior to going on air, and no negatives were raised in relation to stereotyping of the people involved.”

However, Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance disagreed.

He told www.shootingtimes.co.uk the advertisement’s elitist tone will further fuel the general public’s negative view of shooting: “This advertisement is a reminder of the stereotypical view of shooting that many people hold. We have to continue to work to publicise all forms of shooting and present a more rounded picture of shooting and the people who take part in it.”

The advertisement can be viewed online by searching under ‘Privilege’ at the visit4info website.

If you would like to make a complaint to Privilege, write to Privilege Car Insurance, 3 Edridge Road, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 1AG or contact the company online at www.privilege.com