Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Advert during rape drama criticised

Channel 4 apologised to viewers who complained after an ad featuring a couple having sex was shown after a rape scene in a film

Channel 4 has been criticised for showing a light-hearted advert featuring a couple having sex immediately after a rape scene in a film.

Communications watchdog Ofcom said 17 people complained after the broadcast of the Scandinavian crime thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo cut to a credit for Phones 4U on Channel 4 last Christmas.

Its report said the credit for the phone company, who sponsor films on the channel, showed "a close-up shot of a woman's face in bed with a man, apparently having sex. The woman paused and leaned towards the camera and said: "I'm faking it, can I upgrade?"

The clip was played in the lead up to an advert break and followed a scene which "showed a prolonged attack and disturbing rape on a young woman" which "included a close-up of her face while she was screaming".

The report continued: "The effect was to cut from the face of the screaming woman in the film's rape scene to the face of the woman in bed in the sponsorship credit."

The next sponsorship credit, played between the end of the adverts and the resumption of the film also had a "sexual theme" and showed the man in the original clip saying "I've still got my pants on, can I upgrade?".

The channel apologised directly to the viewers who complained and said it was "looking into ways to ensure that situations like this do not occur again in the future".

Ofcom said the clip breached the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising that says "the context in which an advertisement is likely to be broadcast must be taken into account to avoid unsuitable scheduling" and broadcasters have to avoid "unsuitable juxtapositions between advertising material and programmes".

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