Amnesty ups stakes in gun control campaign

Amnesty International is planning to capitalise on the success of its ‘AK47’ spoof cinema ad campaign with a series of stunts.

The charity will launch the PR element of its campaign  for greater gun control by setting up 'product demonstrations' in UK shopping centres.

Actors standing on display stages will pretend to demonstrate weapons in the same way that companies advertise credit cards.

They will also hand out information from recent reports claiming half a million people – equivalent to one a minute – die as a result of armed violence every year.

The campaign is still in the planning stage, but is to be rolled out across the UK within the next six weeks. Amnesty wants to push the issue to the top of the agenda as it presents a petition for tighter arms controls to the United Nations.

The cinema ads showed a fake satellite shopping channel called Teleshop running an infomercial for Kalashnikov automatic rifles.

Presenters offered viewers free guns and ammunition, before handing a weapon to a boy, who emptied the magazine into the studio wall.

The ads, which ran in the Vue cinema chain, generated considerable publicity for Amnesty's bid to put pressure on arms exporters to tighten controls. They showed how easy it is for weapons to be bought by people across the globe.

Amnesty hopes the stunts will generate local and national media coverage, and help raise the profile of its wider 'Protect the Human' campaign.

The initiative has been running since last October and has a target of recruiting a million more people to the human rights cause this year.

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