OVER 20 complaints have been received by the Advertising Standards Authority in relation to an advertising promotion by the Irish Examiner which features a controversial image of Limerick, querying the safety of the city due to crime levels.
The editor of the Irish Examiner, Tim Vaughan, said he is standing over the advertising campaign and has declined to apologise for the anger caused in Limerick by the advert. Mr Vaughan said readers will be “surprised” by the actual series, which could rebuke stereotypes, because in fact crime levels in Limerick have declined in recent years. He said the reaction in Limerick has been “unfortunate” and urged people to reserve judgment until publication.
The “offensive” billboard campaign, which was erected at Colbert Station, shows an iconic scene of King John’s Castle and the River Shannon, with crime scene tape plastered across the scene. The question is then asked: ‘Just how safe is Limerick?’
The poster at Colbert Station was torn down within a matter of hours, but gardai in Roxboro Road station said they have not received any official complaints regarding a criminal damage offence. Another poster was later erected on Roxboro Road.
Similar adverts are also running in Cork, Kerry, Clare, Tipperary, Waterford, with identifiable landmarks from each county used in adverts relevant to their area
Letters of complaint were sent to the Cork-based newspaper this week by the Mayor Gerry McLoughlin and the Limerick Communications Office.
For more on this story see all editions of the Limerick Leader broadsheet, currently in shops.