Gunning For X-Mas Sales

Stacey Burling of The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at a Philly-based company that seems to relish repeatedly stepping over the lines of decency.

Urban Outfitters — no stranger to controversial products — is offering the 5-inch-long, Chinese-made gun ornament for $6 in its stores and catalogs this year.
”Bust a cap in your tree with this superglittery ornament in the shape of a handgun, complete with a satin ribbon for hanging,” the online description of the revolver says. It is meant, the retailer says, as an ”ironic twist” on the holidays.
Urban Outfitters’ edgy sense of humor has drawn fire before. Various groups have protested two T-shirts — one said ”New Mexico, Cleaner Than Regular Mexico,” and the other paired a dollar sign with the words ”Everyone Loves a Jewish Girl” — and a board game, Ghettopoly, that spoofs Monopoly by featuring crack houses and housing projects. The company also currently sells necklaces sporting Uzi and knife pendants.

Clearly there is a market for these items. If there was not, Urban Outfitters would not offer the products. There are also thriving markets for real guns. I’d like to shut that down before concerning myself too much with marketers of toy guns.
[via Adfreak]

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. While in bad taste, the bigger concern is that it resembles a real weapon too closely. In New York, for instance, it’s illegal to carry even a prop gun without some special permit (usually for film/theater production). Most toy guns have a big orange cap on the end of the barrel so it still looks fake. Wait for some stupid kid to get his hands on one, paint it black and make like it’s real, only to get shot dead by a policeman. It’s happened before.