Complaints About Scary Adverts for Mobile Phones Rejected
Published on: 21st Dec 2011
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has rejected a large number of complaints about a television advertisement campaign carried out by the high street phone retailer Phones 4U.
The adverts which the phone retailer said were meant to parody horror movies were apparently sufficiently close to being actual horror scenes, that over 600 people complained about them.
Most of the complaints challenged whether the adverts were "offensive, irresponsible, unduly distressing" and also inappropriately scheduled at a time when children might see them.
The ASA however noted that the adverts were shown after 9pm, which is a UK watershed moment when it is presumed that children wouldn't be watching television anymore. It turned out that some children had seen the advert - and allegedly been upset by it - but that was not deemed to be the fault of the advertiser.
The ASA also noted that the little girl's appearance was reminiscent of a character from a horror movie and we considered that the way in which the adverts had been broadcast, without context between non-related ads, was likely to have contributed to the unease felt by some adult viewers.
However, they also considered the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence or to be unduly distressing for most adults.