Las Vegas Sun

January 18, 2018

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Commissioners concerned but say they can’t stop provocative ads



This version of the Guns n’ Roses’ banned album cover is being used to promote its residency at Hard Rock Hotel’s Joint. A more explicit version of the artwork, used on its website, depicts the woman with a breast exposed and her underwear below her knees which, critics say, strongly suggests sexual assault.

Guns N' Roses' Paradise City Road

Paradise Road is temporarily renamed Paradise City Road on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in honor of Guns N' Roses' run at the Hard Rock Hotel from Oct. 31 through Nov. 24, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Clark County commissioners met the media Friday to express concerns about a Guns N' Roses advertisement for concerts at the Hard Rock Hotel but said there was little they could do about the content.

Commissioners Lawrence Weekly and Mary Beth Scow, who spoke alongside representatives of the Rape Crisis Center and Safe Nest, said they had no intention of interfering with any business’s operation. Weekly said he just wanted them to keep their community in mind.

“Keep young people who can see these things in mind,” Weekly said, speaking in the offices of the Rape Crisis Center on campus of the College of Southern Nevada. “I don’t want my kids to see this stuff.”

Weekly added that he was planning a “face-to-face” talk with the operators of a Las Vegas gentlemen’s club regarding its video advertisement alongside Interstate 15. He said even his daughter asked about the ad and its appropriateness recently.

Weekly said he wasn’t blaming the famous rock ‘n’ roll band for the Hard Rock ad, which is a slightly less risque version of Guns N' Roses original album cover issued in 1987; it’s more about marketing people in the business of creating advertisements for potential customers.

“This isn’t about Guns N' Roses,” he added. “(This is about) people behind the scenes.”

Since criticizing the Hard Rock advertisement for its depiction of women this week, Scow said she had received “scores” of supportive emails and phone calls. She, too, also said First Amendment rights make it difficult for government to regulate advertising content.

“I’m hoping for self regulation,” she said. “I don’t know if government should be inserting itself into a business’ advertisement.”

The ad for the band’s four-week run at the Hard Rock shows a woman who appears to have been sexually assaulted beneath a version of the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.

It's a sanitized version of the banned cover for the album "Appetite for Destruction," which features a disheveled woman with a breast exposed and underwear pulled below her knees. Scow said some businesses have already taken it upon themselves to edit the advertisement. An airline magazine, she said, contains a Guns N' Roses ad that completely deletes the image of the woman.

Victim advocates say the artwork glorifies domestic violence.

The Hard Rock paid $1,500 to Clark County to create five streets signs for a fictional “Paradise City Road” to present to the rock group. There were no commission action to temporarily rename Paradise Road, where the Hard Rock resides, as Paradise City Road.

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