Complaints against seven different ad spots for horror movie The Conjuring 2 have been upheld because the ads are scary AF; the TVCs include creepy images of children screaming, a scary nun, a crucifix turning upside down and haunted mirrors.
It appears the horror ads were televised during the NRL series, which was billed as a family friendly event. A sample of the complaints include:
- I believe it’s a MA rated movie but the trailer/ad is screening at times my kids see it. Both kids have been so affected they have not been able to sleep alone and in fact have to be in our beds, sobbing and barely able to speak. This has been for the past 5 nights now
- I do not wish to be exposed to this disturbing content within my own home. I do not believe it is appropriate to display this content during a family friendly program (NRL) or at all for that matter
- It gives me the creeps, and I don’t it’s something young children should be exposed to. It would have given me nightmares when I was a kid.
- Watching the state of origin on channel 9, of which is promoted as a family event by channel 9….subsequently have three children watching the event, ranging from ages 10-3yrs and immediately at half time the advertisement for a supernatural themed horror movie is commenced to be advertised. This movie, the conjuring is in no way a family movie and as I understand it would not be promoted in anyway to be a family movie.
In response to all the complaints Roadshow Film Distributors have decided to cancel all paid advertising spots that were booked before 8:30pm. Here’s the company’s response:
“The TV spots have been placed in television programs which have a demographic reach which best match the target demographic to which Roadshow seeks to promote the Film ie. people aged 18-29. As this is a broad audience, the television buy for the campaign does include a selection of programs that are targeted towards a broad audience e.g The Voice, The Footy Show, House Rules,NRL and AFL.
“As a result of receiving notice of the complaints made by various members of the public in relation to the TV spots, Roadshow has instructed our media agency to cancel all paid advertisement spots that were previously booked before 8.30pm. This came into effect on Sunday 12 June 2016 on free television across Australia.”
Some of The Conjuring 2 TV spots; be warned, it’s spooky stuff:
The Advertising Standards Board noted the advertiser’s response that they have changed their media buy so that all versions of the advertisement will be aired after 8.30pm. The Board noted that programs enjoyed by families, such as The Voice, are aired at this time. The Board recognised the strong concerns expressed by complainants in regard to the frightening content of the advertisements promoting the horror movie.
The Board considered that the imagery and supernatural themes contained in the advertisements depicted a level of violence that was not justifiable in the context of the product or service advertised. The Board determined that the advertisement did breach Section 2.3 of the Code. Finding that all 7 versions of the advertisement did breach Section 2.3 of the Code, the Board upheld the complaints.