ASA raps Lions Gate UK for 'distressing' Saw 3D ad

Lions Gate UK, the film distributor, has come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), after a "distressing" ad for its horror film 'Saw 3D' was seen by a 10-year-old after the 7.30pm watershed.

The advertising watchdog received one complaint from a 10-year-old boy who saw the ad at 8.29pm during the 'Gadget Show' on Channel 5. He complained it was distressing and inappropriately scheduled.

The TV ad, created by Lions Gate, begins with a man screaming while another, with blood on his hand, reaches towards the viewer.

It continues with several scenes of violence and danger, including a man falling out of a hanging cage, a man wearing metal restraints, and a woman tied between railway tracks.

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with a post-7.30pm restriction, with the view that anyone who saw the commercial after that time was likely to be old enough to "make the distinction that the ad was for a film and therefore clearly based in fantasy".

The ASA noted that apart from a scene where a man had blood on his hand, the viewer did not see scenes of injury or death. However, the watchdog also concluded there "were many scenes" of characters in distress and physical danger, which could be distressing for younger viewers.

The ASA ruled that the 7.30pm restriction was not sufficient and the ad should not be broadcast in its current form before 9pm.

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