Virgin Media has been found in breach of advertising codes following a mailing campaign featuring a stylised bullet hole in the letter.
Consumers complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after receiving the letters - which had no formal marks identifying the letter as originating from Virgin Media.
Complainants insisted that the campaign, which aimed to promote the company's broadband packages as being "faster than a speeding bullet", was inappropriate at a time when gun crime was on the increase.
The ASA ruled that while it was not likely to have caused widespread offence and distress, the company was in breach of advertising codes requiring that letters be clearly identifiable as containing marketing material.
"We noted that, although the bullet hole appeared stylised, there was no advertiser branding or any other indication on the outside of the envelope that showed [this]," the ASA stated.
Virgin Media has been referred to the ASA on a number of previous occasions, with a number of major broadband providers taking issue with a press advert entitled Truth Lies and Broadband earlier this year.