Boyle show ad 'not irresponsible'
An advertisement for a Frankie Boyle show featuring popular children's Fuzzy Felt rabbits injecting each other with hypodermic needles is not irresponsible, a watchdog has ruled.
The Tramadol Nights poster shows images of a badger firing a machine gun, a creature with knives protruding from its fur and a fabric rodent wielding a chainsaw.
Among the cartoon scene of carnage, one rabbit is depicted injecting another amid pools of blood.
Former Mock The Week star Boyle has already faced widespread criticism over the Channel Four comedy being advertised. The show sparked fury among mental health and disability campaigners after it poked fun at Katie Price's disabled son Harvey and was roundly condemned for its "distasteful" content.
Now the poster, showing children's toys alongside images of drugs and violence, has fuelled further anger.
Complainants branded the advertisement "irresponsible" and suggested it could encourage the use of recreational drugs. They deemed the images harmful and likely to cause distress. But their concerns were not upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which ruled the poster was "unlikely to cause harm or distress to children".
Siding with Channel Four, the ASA said: "We noted the ad featured images of rabbits injecting each other with hypodermic needles and considered that this was an implied reference to drugs.
"However, we considered that the fuzzy felt images of animals were stylised and clearly removed from reality and that they neither glamorised nor condoned the use of intravenous drugs in humans. We concluded that the ad was not irresponsible."
When approached by the watchdog, Channel Four said its advertisement was designed to be comedic and surreal rather than a realistic depiction of violent behaviour. It said the poster clearly advertised a post-watershed comedy.
Responding to the 13 objections to the poster, the ASA said no further action was necessary.