Channel 4 has been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after it showed an advert for AMC zombie horror show ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ during the screening of a kid’s film.
The ad, which was hailing Amazon Prime’s access to the US series, was shown twice during ‘Rango’, broadcast during the late afternoon on a Sunday.
According to reports, the ad showed people running in distress, others in bio-hazard suits, ‘a frightened woman in a plantation field holding onto a fence’, police and ambulance sirens and a shadowed figure, as well as a man falling down unwell.
It also featured a voice-over from a female character saying ‘what the hell is happening?’
After receiving a complaint, the advertising watchdog ruled that the advert ‘created a build-up of suspense that could be distressing to younger children, but that would not be unsuitable for older children to see’.
“We noted that the ad was shown during an animated film that would have strong appeal to young children. Furthermore, it was scheduled on a Sunday afternoon, which we considered was likely to be seen as family viewing time,” it added.
“Viewers would have expected ads to be scheduled with the family audience in mind and were unlikely to expect to see ads that would be frightening to younger children.”
Channel 4 said that it had been assured by Clearcast, which serviced the ad, that it featured ‘no graphic content’, but added that its systems should have flagged up its unsuitability.
The broadcaster apologised for any distress caused, saying that it took its responsibilities ‘very seriously’, and would take steps to ensure such mistakes would not be made again.
Image credits: AMC