Gun Maker pays out $73m as marketing takes some blame for Sandy Hook shooting

In a deal that sends out a stark message of responsibility to marketers, Remington Arms has been forced to pay $73 million in compensation to families whose loved ones were killed in the 2012 elementary school shooting.

The families won a settlement after suing Remington for its promotional materials, saying they encouraged violent behaviour. One of the lines used about the Bushmaster rifle was “Consider your man card reissued,” while another read, “Forces of opposition, bow down. You are single-handedly outnumbered.”

The lawsuit alleged that the campaign formed part of a larger and “aggressive” marketing effort that included product placement in video games. Josh Koskoff, a lawyer representing the families of victims, said at a news conference “I had thought the case was about the gun, but it’s just as much about the greed.”

The money will be divided among nine of the families whose loved ones were victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, which left 20 children and six staff members dead.

BBDO won a number of Lions at Cannes in 2020 for its Sandy Hook Promise “Back to School Essentials” campaign (above) showing how easy it is for a shooter can go unnoticed until it’s too late.

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.