The Advertising Standards Authority has given the all clear to a recent BT TV advertisement after some people complained that a recent ad featuring Gremlins wreaking havoc on a hapless office worker was frightening children and giving them nightmares. The ad stars Peter Jones who you may know from such thrilling business TV shows as Dragon’s Den.
An unruly gang of 11 irate viewers wrote to the ASA objecting to the ad’s current scheduling restriction. Clearcast, the ads moderating body, originally gave it an “ex kids” restriction meaning that it couldn’t be shown during programming specifically targeted at children. BT also claims that its ad was “fairly tame” in comparison with some films and video games.
In the end, the watchdog decided not to pander to the demands of over-zealous parenting, calling the scaly creatures’ commercial outing “comedic rather than threatening”. Disappointingly, it neglected to force BT to explain exactly how its 24 hour IT and Communications Support team was equipped to handle a dozen pointy-toothed goblins vandalising an office computer.
BT is presumably quite relieved – I bet those Spielberg licensing rights do not come cheap at all. However, at least the ad has continued to stir up parents in much the same way as the original film did back in the 80s.