"Scary" Beagle Street ad escapes ban

Beagle Street has avoided censure after the Advertising Standards Authority received more than 100 complaints that the life insurance company's TV ad was scaring children.

The ad, which was created by The Corner and released in October 2014, showed a man in a bathtub being harassed by a fat gremlin, which represented traditional life insurance. The monster then exploded and turned into a cute creature as a voice-over said: "For life insurance reborn, go to Beaglestreet.com."

The spot was given an "ex-kids" scheduling restriction, meaning that it would not be shown in or around programmes made for children, but could still air in the daytime during shows aimed at adults.

The ASA received 102 complaints, challenging whether the ad was suitable for daytime broadcast, with many complainants saying their children or grandchildren had been scared by the ad.

The regulatory body investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 5.1 (children) and 32.3 (scheduling), but did not find it in breach.

In its judgment, the ASA stated: "while we acknowledged that some younger children had found the ad unsettling, we considered that on balance, given the reaction of the man and the comedic elements, the ex-kids restriction was nonetheless sufficient."