“I am what I am” campaign has come under fire in the U.K. due to
graphic images of rapper 50 Cent.
ads feature 50 Cent counting to nine relating the number to the amount of times
he was shot in 2000, while the print ads feature the rapper with finger print
The Disarm Trust,
an anti-gun charity in the U.K., called the ads “irresponsible and despicable,”
and said the company “was preying on young impressionable black males.”
Reebok denied the
Disarm Trust’s claims and stated that the advertisements were “edgy”
and would only be featured in adult oriented media outlets.
not condone every action, choice or view expressed by the athletes and entertainers
who wear our products," a spokesperson for the company stated.
50 Cent recently
landed in hot water in the United States, when he booted former cohort The Game
from his G-Unit clique on New York’s Hot 97.
Game, who was on
rival station Power 105, went to Hot 97’s offices to confront 50 Cent
and in the resulting fracas, an associate of Game was shot in the buttocks.
The two men later
held a press conference at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, New York, to end
the growing tension between the two camps.
The “I am
what I am” campaign features Allen Iverson, Andy Roddick, Jay-Z, Lucy
Liu, Yao Ming, 50 Cent and others.
A press release
issued by Reebok called the global campaign the largest advertising spend in
nearly a decade.
The U.K. has experienced
a surge in violence involving gun crimes, but the overall level of gun crime
in the country is relatively low.
According to the
U.K.’s Home Office website, gun violence accounted for less than half
of 1 percent of all crime recorded by police.