Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Child wins horror film advert ban

A 10-year-old complained about the Saw 3D television ad

A 10-year-old has secured the banning of a television ad for the film Saw 3D after complaining to a watchdog that it was "distressing" and "inappropriately scheduled".

The ad began with a man screaming and reaching towards the viewer with blood on his hand before showing spiky metal restraints appearing around the arm and shoulders of a man wearing 3D glasses.

More images followed of circular saw blades flying over a cinema audience and towards the viewer, people cowering from an explosion, a close-up of a screaming man falling and a huge figure reaching out into the cinema from the screen and lifting a person back towards the screen.

The ad was cleared to screen with a post-7.30pm restriction.

The 10-year-old, who is not named in the ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), saw the ad at 8.29pm during The Gadget Show on Channel 5.

Clearcast, which gave the ad its 7.30pm restriction, said it felt that anyone watching television after 7.30pm would be able to make the distinction that the ad was for a film.

But the ASA upheld the child's complaint, noting that many of the scenes showed people in distress and in physical danger.

The ASA said: "We considered that, although the ad was clearly for a film and therefore based in fantasy, the scenes of people in the cinema - particularly those where they were suddenly trapped by metal restraints and where the figure reached out and pulled a cinema-goer back towards the screen - linked the scenes from the film with a recognisably real situation.

"We considered it was therefore likely to cause distress to young children ... and a post-7.30pm restriction was not sufficient."

It ruled that the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form before 9pm.

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