Geneseo firearms company apologizes for ad campaign

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A Geneseo, Illinois-based firearms maker is apologizing for a year-old ad campaign that recently drew criticism from Italy.

Italy’s minister of culture took to Twitter on Saturday, March 8, 2014 where he threatened legal action against the Illinois-based weapon manufacturer ArmaLite for using an image of Michelangelo’s 'David' to boost sales of a weapon that retails for about $3,300.

Related:  Geneseo company under fire for advertisement using iconic statue

ArmaLite company officials say the complaint came more than a year after that ad launched, and that the campaign has long since been removed from circulation.

"ArmaLite deeply regrets offending anyone and certainly had no intention of doing so," said a statement issued by the company Monday, March 10.

"The 'Work of Art' media campaign was initiated over a year ago, but was removed from circulation when the new ownership of ArmaLite took responsibility for company direction in July 2013," the statement said.

"I believe that an advertisement utilizing an altered photograph of a masterpiece such as David is in poor taste," said Mark Johnson, current owner of ArmaLite.  "We deeply regret that ArmaLite offended anyone by this media campaign, which we ended upon our acquisition of the company.  We will make every effort to be sure that any remnants from the campaign are removed from the public."