Diary: C4 finds Gavilast's ad plan hard to stomach

Channel 4's chief executive Mark Thompson's vision for the broadcaster to take more risks hasn't quite trickled down to the airtime sales department, which refused to place an ad for an indigestion remedy during a documentary about cannibalism.

While the channel's commissioning editors have gone to great lengths to fulfil Thompson's dream by running everything from a live autopsy to Derren Brown's suicide attempt, its ad department is proving to be the broadcaster's sensitive side.

In a creative piece of airtime planning, OMD tried to place an ad for Reckitt Benckiser's Gavilast indigestion remedy during Channel 4's controversial documentary Bodyshock: The man who ate his lover, screened on 1 March.

The documentary was on Armin Meiwes, who was jailed for eight years in January after killing Bernd Brandes and eating 20kg of his flesh over the next two years, including his penis, which he first fried with garlic.

However, although OMD may have thought Gavilast might have made some of the programme's content easier to stomach, those super-sensitive airtime sales people at the channel blocked the ad on the grounds that its scheduling would be in "bad taste". Perhaps had they been privy to an advance showing, their idea of bad taste would have been different.


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