Snapchat apologises for violent Chris Brown and Rihanna ad

Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna while the two were in a relationship in 2009.
Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna while the two were in a relationship in 2009. Photo credit: Getty

Snapchat has apologised for an ad that asked users if they'd rather hit Chris Brown or Rihanna.

The advert was an in-app commercial for a smartphone game called 'Would You Rather?'

"Would you rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown?" it read, accompanied by photos of the two musicians.

Snapchat was criticised for showing the ad by people who said it clearly referenced a famous incident of domestic violence between the pair.

In 2009, Brown savagely assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna in a car. He repeatedly hit, choked and bit her as well as threatened to kill her. She was left badly bruised with a split lip, and Brown was charged and sentenced to five years of probation.

Several Twitter users posted screenshots of the ad, calling it offensive and accusing Snapchat of "making light" of Rihanna's assault.

One of the most high-profile people who took issue with the ad was Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former Secretary of State and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

In response, Snapchat has now removed the ad and apologised.

"The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines," the company told the BBC.

This is the latest in a string of bad news for the app, which has seen a drop in use with the introduction of its latest update.

In February, Kylie Jenner - once a prolific Snapchat user - announced she no longer used the app, prompting a massive stock downturn.