back to article Motorcycle News in shot M40 biker ad gaffe

The UK's Motorcycle News earlier this week contributed a cracking example to the "unfortunate juxtaposition of content and advertisement" genre with this piece on murdered biker Gerard Michael Tobin: Motorcycle News piece on dead biker with Harley Davidson ad declaring "No-one ever wished they'd stayed in more" Given that …


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  1. Tom

    Unfortunate yes, but..

    .. that picture is of a Harley Sportster. No self-respcting Hells Angel would be seen dead (ahem) on a Sportster, which is widely regarded as a girlie bike.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Whilst, Carole Nash insurance ads could be considered humourous when seen on the same page as news about an unfortunate incident, I have trouble believing that this is the ad which originally spawned this article.

    I may be wrong, of course, and no disrespect intended towards the biker, as there are 3 members of my immediate family who are registered members of the FCM (, but this does seem a little like groping at straws.

  3. Ian Damage

    Girlie Bike?

    Who you kidding?

    Sure, the sportster is a lightweight bike, without all the roar and grumble of the rest.

    But who keeps their Harley stock? Once the mods are done, you cant tell the diff, only the owner can, and thats by looking in his wallet.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear

    That's almost as bad as when our local newspaper reported the death of a guy in a light aircraft crash and featured an ad for flying lessons, on the same page!

  5. Andrew Webster

    Almost the best......

    When ex princess Di had her car crash the first edition of the times had a Mercedes ad on the oposite page...........extoling the saftey features of the S class claiming it was ideal for keeping your family safe!

  6. Matt

    re: oh dear

    yes, or like the article about the guy who cut off his penis in a restaurant, with an embedded advert for circumcision :)

  7. Cyberspice

    Hardly Able Sons!

    No it's not a girlie bike because no girlie would be seen dead on one and I should know. I'll stick with my 1100cc Kawasaki thank you very much...

  8. Marc Potter

    Apologies from MCN

    I would like to publicly extend my apologies to Gerard Tobin's friends and family for the unfortunate incident where we mistakenly placed a Harley-Davidson advert next to the story of the motorcyclist killed on the M40.

    This was a genuine oversight and we never intended to cause any upset in this tragic time. Unfortunately this was a system error and as soon as we realised we took the advert down.

    Marc Potter, Web and Print Editor, MCN

  9. Martin

    EL Reg in "Ads by Google" gaffe

    On the El Reg home page they have headline ads by google. On one occasion 2 came up together, one reading "Sex offenders registry" the other reading "Photos of cute girls". Some much for sensitive in context advertising. Pot? Kettle? JPG on request.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: re: oh dear

    Wasn't that pizza place called Zizzi? the same as the slang word for penis in french?

  11. Dillon Pyron

    Ads like that happen all the time

    Any specialty magazine, particularly online, is going to have gaffe's like that all the time. It's an unfortunate matter of the separation of editorial and advertising staff.

    Just below his helmet? Was he wearing one of those stupid half helmets? Anything more and the round would have been in his neck. Of course, any quality firearm would have easily penetrated the helmet.

    I hope police capture the perps soon. There's probably a whole lot more to this story. Unless some newspaper takes an interest to it when/if they finally get busted, tried, convicted and sentenced, it'll be up to the MN to keep the story alive.

    No intelligent motorcyclist in the US would wear colors. Even for fun. Particularly for fun.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re Apologies from MCN

    "Unfortunately this was a system error"

    When in doubt, blame the computer.

  13. Smokey Joe


    Bah. MCN deserve some respect for not doing that on purpose, obviously.

    It's that time of year again... I miss my bikes... all I have these days is El Reg.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Dillon Pyron

    "No intelligent motorcyclist in the US would wear colors. Even for fun. Particularly for fun."

    Oh, really ?

    Maybe the word "intelligent" was a half hearted get out clause.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just goes to show...

    If he'd had a proper bike instead of a wanky Harley, he'd have easily been able to outrun a Rover 620. Moral of the story, get a nice fast jap sports bike...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    outlaws everywhere?

    There certainly are Hells Angels in Canada but

    I no idea they frequented the UK they have become

    much more efficient than I gave them credit for if they

    are killing guys there. For anyone who doesn't know

    wearing a clubs colors can get you shot here in the

    US unless you happen to be a member even then

    it's not always a good idea.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You think so

    I know 2 guys from Wessex who ride sportys. One a Buell and the other a straight (customised) sporty. And you certainly wouldn't want to tell either of them that they ride a girly bike I assure you.

  18. Pete James

    Funny you say that......

    Two old mates of mine had HD sportsters. You wouldn't have told them they owned hairdresser bikes. But then again, the local Angels chapter wouldn't have made such a remark to them either. Perhaps a little bizarrely they tended to make the first remark about them being very average bikes at best.

    Nice blokes though, loved their mums and all that.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unfortunate double meaning

    As you may have noticed, the ad text "No one ever wished they'd stayed in more" can be read two diametrically opposed ways:

    - the intentional "People never regret going out (more often)."

    - the unintentional "People often regret going out (but none regrets it as much the guy who got shot)."

  20. Slaine

    bikes and the law

    Of course it's a girlie bike, my little sister used to ride a "sportster".

    My heart still belongs to my old GSX1100E (fireballed).

    But, hat's off to the good old UK polite farce who have managed now to arrest 4 people responsible for 2 bullets.

    And continuing sympathies for friends and family of Mr Tobin.

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