BASC has received an apology from Barnardos over its portrayal of ‘hunters’ in its latest campaign film.
Barnardos says it never intended to offend anyone and has released a statement of apology which will be carried on the BASC website.
Barnardos director of communications, Diana Tickell, said: “This film in no way intended to negatively portray legitimate shooting sports or offend BASC or your members and any offence caused is entirely unintentional. The overall aim of our campaign is to highlight that Barnardo’s Believes in Children and in particular highlight our work with children in trouble.”
She added: “This film quotes actual comments left by members of the public on message boards within UK newspaper websites. Barnardo’s think it is unacceptable to talk about children in this manner: words like ‘animal’, ‘feral,’ ‘vermin’ and “shoot a few” used in reference to children. We felt it was necessary to show these words in action to bring home just how prevalent and damaging the use of this language is, hence the use of the hunting imagery. We are using the concept of people shooting as a metaphor to highlight the severe and irresponsible way in which society has begun to demonise children in the UK.”
Barnardos campaign says that there is an unjustified and disturbing intolerance to children in modern society, and that they are being demonised. The British Association for Shooting & Conservation argued that the charity appeared to demonise people who lawfully shoot, in their campaign film, which was not acceptable.
Barnardos says the film will be superseded by a television advertisement campaign, which will begin next week and which will contain no images of hunting or legitimate firearms.
BASC’s director of communications, Christopher Graffius said: “BASC is reassured that Barnardos did not intend to cause offence and is pleased that an apology has been given to the shooting community.”