The new feature film Paranormal Activity 3, rated ‘R’ for some violence, language, brief sexuality and drug use, has been banned from broadcast before 9pm by the ASA after receiving complaints that parents and the children watching were caused distress. According to Marketing Week the campaign included a series of three TV ads for the third installment of this blockbuster; each 10-second ad featured quick changing scenes shot in the style of video and surveillance camera footage from the film. Given the explicit scenes of violence and abuse you would have thought that Clearcast would have been reluctant to clear the program for the 7.30pm showing as opposed to 9pm, apparently not! Who are Clearcast anyway…?
In compliance with the BCAP TV Advertising Standards Code, and according to the company’s website, Clearcast are owned by the UK’s largest TV Broadcasters and it is their mission to ‘…make it easier to get ads on air…’ I think the mission says it all really! This poses the question as to whether companies like Clearcast should be held accountable.
Hilariously Paramount Pictures said that the short duration of the spots “alleviated” the potential for harm or offence because they did not maintain a level of sustained threat and tension to leave a lasting impression on the average consumer. – So basically as long as the feature clip is short then viewers cannot be affected in a negative way.
Thank you to the Advertising Standards Authority, who said although the ads were brief, the general tone was of fear and the way the spots were shot. It makes you wonder what would happen if governing bodies such as the ASA did not exist…?