A TV campaign promoting big screen horror sequel Paranormal Activity 3 has been curtailed by the advertising watchdog after complaints that children had suffered “personal distress” from the ads.
The campaign, by Paramount Pictures, comprised a series of three 10-second TV ads shot as if they were taken on a home video camera.
It showed furniture being violently moved around, a woman being invisibly pulled backwards and thrown on a bed, and eerie silhouettes of people in darkened rooms.
The Advertising Standards Authority received 29 complaints about the campaign even though it was only cleared for broadcast after 7.30pm to protect younger viewers.
Viewers complained that young children had been upset by the ads, that a number had reported “personal distress” and that the campaign should not have been broadcast before 9pm.
Clearcast, which pre-vets ads before they are broadcast, said that the audience was old enough to know the 10-second clips were a trailer for a horror film which had been given a 15 certificate.
But the ASA said the ads should not have been broadcast before 9pm and imposed a pre-watershed ban on the campaign.