Belfast Telegraph

Planet Of The Apes 'gun' ad cleared

An ad for the film Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes that showed an ape shooting a man dead with an automatic weapon has been cleared following 119 complaints.

The television ad, which was screened on ITV during coverage of the World Cup semi final at around 9.50pm, began with an ape approaching two men, one of who pointed a gun at him.

A second exchange showed the ape turning on the men, stealing an automatic weapon from one of them and shooting the other dead, and the ad closing as gunfire resounded in the background.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the majority of complainants believed the ad was inappropriate for children to see, while others believed the theme and content was unsuitable for juxtaposition with a mainstream sporting event.

A large number said the ad was overly violent and distressing, while some said it irresponsibly condoned violence and firearm use.

ITV said the ad was a one-off exclusive to promote the release of the film and to engage viewers through social media interaction.

It said the film was rated 12A by the British Board of Film Classification, which suggested that a significant number of children were likely to see it, or had already seen it, in a cinema.

ITV believed it was reasonable and proportionate to schedule the ad during such a major sporting event, taking into account the post 9pm restriction and the time it actually screened at 9.50pm.

The ASA said the ad was unsuitable for young children and the 9pm restriction reflected this.

It said: "While it was unfortunate that any distress was caused to younger viewers who did see the ad, we considered that the scheduling restriction in place, together with the time of broadcast, 9.50 pm, meant that it had been directed away from younger viewers.

"We acknowledged that some adults who were watching the semi final had found the ad to be too graphic even for an adult audience who had chosen to watch a sporting event.

"While we understood that they were likely to be similarly shocked by the ad's twist, we considered that, in view of the overall content and the brevity of the closing scene, they were unlikely to be distressed by it."

The ASA concluded that the ad had been responsibly scheduled.

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