Five uses cinema to promote The Shield police drama

Five is using cinema advertising for the first time to promote its controversial US police drama The Shield.

The 60-second ads - adapted from those used when the series was shown on the US channel FX Network - have been bought around the third part of the Hannibal Lecter trilogy, Red Dragon, which premieres this weekend.

They show the anti-hero of the series, Detective Vic Mackey, dishing out tough justice to criminals.

The Shield was boycotted by a handful of advertisers including Burger King and Pizza Hut when it was shown on FX Network earlier this year.

This was in response to a campaign waged by the watchdog Parents Television Council concerned with the violent nature of the show. The Parents Television Council has previously waged campaigns against WWF Smackdown and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Walker Media has bought 100 screens at Carlton Screen's Odeon cinemas and Five estimates that admissions will reach 760,000 over the three weeks of the campaign.

Five is using an outdoor and on-air campaign to supplement the cinema for the 13-part series, which premiered on Five two weeks ago.

Five's marketing director, David Pullan, explained: "The campaign will attract an upmarket 16- to 34-year-old audience. We have developed a highly impactful spot, which will appeal directly to this key TV audience. The Shield builds on Five's reputation for high-quality US imports in this genre and we will continue to build our franchise in 2003 with CSI Miami and Law and Order Special Victims Unit."