Epileptic seizures, handguns and child abuse in TV ads all
attracted criticism from viewers according to the latest Television
Advertising Complaints report from the Independent Television
Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper’s current work for the Peugeot 306 drew censure
for showing scenes of a couple enjoying a second honeymoon. The ads
feature the couple pillow-fighting, dressing in rubber, playing with a
shop mannequin in underwear and squirting a water pistol at each
Viewers complained that the material was too explicit for early evening
viewing and that the use of a pistol, which the couple’s child is later
seen pointing at his mother’s head, was insensitive in the light of the
However, the ITC ruled that transmission times were within guidelines
and the use of the water pistol wasn’t open to serious objection. The
complaints were not upheld.
Concern for advertising’s effect on children was also at the centre of
complaints against a commercial for the Childline Appeal by J. Walter
Thompson. The fund-raising ad shows a child trying to dial the Childline
number. As he tries to get through, bruises, a black eye and cigarette
burns appear on the child’s body.
Viewers objected to the graphic nature of the ad and complained that
young children were frightened by the imagery. Two adults said that the
ad rekindled unpleasant memories.
The ITC upheld the complaints and suggested a post-7.30pm time
Epileptic seizures featured in complaints against three ads. Vertical
black and white lines in BMP DDB’s ad for Marmite and flashing lights in
Boots No 7’s ’black’ and ’red’ cosmetics work from St Luke’s triggered
seizures in some viewers. At the same time, an IMP spot for Texaco Clean
System was censured for what some viewers considered to be an
insensitive and mocking reference to an epileptic seizure.
All three complaints were upheld by the ITC.
The ITC’s decision to allow an ad for the Church of Scientology on to TV
attracted objections from 56 viewers. But the ITC decided that there
were no grounds for disqualifying the ad.