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three blair witch project advert video Four ads for the mobile phone operator Three and the LG G4 handset: A YouTube video; a banner ad appearing on YouTube; and two pre-roll ads on YouTube.

  • a. A five minute YouTube video ad, seen in August 2015, opened with the following text Warning the following film contains scenes of a disturbing nature. Viewer discretion advised. Restricted. Suitable for viewers aged 15 and over . It featured the 15 classification. The ad featured a purple puppet, Jackson, in a car with his human companion, Steve, driving into the woods. The ad cut to a black screen with white writing which said In 2015, Three went into the woods to test the new LG G4. This is what they found . The ad continued to follow Steve into the woods where he saw a mysterious rusting vehicle in the overgrowth. As he approached the vehicle, a doll jumped up at the window, which in turn, made Steve jump. The doll was brandished by Jackson who laughed and said Gotcha Steve! and it’s only a bit of fun . Next, Jackson was highlighting the features of the camera and viewers saw a small voodoo style doll hanging down amongst the trees to the right of the shot. Steve pointed this out to Jackson who immediately approached it with the words I love it! Ooooo! . Jackson pulled its leg in delight and said Look, it’s a skellington Steve!…

  • b. A banner ad which appeared on 4 August 2015 at the top of the YouTube home page and was a shorter version of ad (a) featured Jackson and Steve. Text at the beginning of the ad stated Three went into the woods. This is what they found . The ad ended and on the left-hand side, it stated Click to watch (if you dare) and on the right-hand side, it included an embedded video link to ad (a).

  • c. & d. Two pre-roll ads on YouTube for the same product featured brief clips of ad (a) and at the end of each ad, it stated Click to watch if you dare , which was a hyperlink to ad (a).

The ASA received three complaints.

  1. One complainant, whose 12-year-old child saw either ad (c) or (d) before a YouTube video, and clicked on the link and was taken to ad (a) and subsequently became distressed by it, challenged whether ad (a) was irresponsible and likely to cause fear and distress to children who saw it.

  2. One complainant, whose 10-year-old child saw ad (b) and clicked on the link and was taken to ad (a), challenged whether ad (b) had been responsibly targeted because it was accessible to children.

  3. One complainant, whose 5-year-old child saw ad (c) before a Minecraft video and became distressed by the ad, challenged whether it had been responsibly targeted because it appeared before a video which was likely to appeal to children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA noted the complainant’s concerns and understood that their child had been distressed by the ad. We also acknowledged the ad included a warning that stated clearly that it was suitable for viewers aged 15 and over and that text underneath the video on the YouTube page highlighted that the content was scary.

Although we considered the ad did not show any acts of violence towards Jackson or Steve, it did create and maintain a heightened sense of suspense throughout. We considered Steve was presented as apprehensive and hyper-vigilant during the ad as to what Jackson and he might find in the woods. The suspense climaxed on several occasions during the ad such as when Steve reeled back from the mysterious rusting vehicle in the overgrowth when the doll jumped up at the window; the voodoo style doll dangling from a tree; the shadowy figure crossing in front of them while they were in the tent; and the girl in the bed who leapt towards the camera and then scurried away across the ceiling. We considered Steve’s fear at being in the woods culminated in the final scenes of the ad when he was shown screaming while running through the woods trying to escape.

We considered the ad’s content was not excessively shocking for viewers who were 15 years old and above and therefore, it was unlikely to cause distress to them. However, we considered younger viewers were likely to be distressed by some of the scenes, most notably where the girl leapt towards the camera and had blood pouring out of her mouth.

The ad included a warning to state that it contained scenes of a disturbing nature and that viewer discretion was advised. Given this, we considered that Three needed to take steps to reduce the likelihood of the ad being served and shown to younger viewers (i.e. under 15s) when they were using YouTube.

We understood that the ad had been kept away from YouTube content which was suitable for children and videos with gaming content unless they were relevant to the target audience. However, we understood from Three that the ad was subject to inferred targeting, which meant it would have been served to YouTube users whose viewing history suggested they fitted within the intended demographic: over 18s, even if they were not signed into their account. We noted the intended audience and that targeting was based on the viewing histories of YouTube users. Nevertheless, we considered there was the possibility the ad could still be served to children.

By featuring the warning in the ad, we considered Three recognised it might cause distress to younger viewers. We considered also that there could, however, be a risk that younger viewers would continue to watch the ad regardless of the warning. Moreover, we considered the ad’s prolonged and heightened sense of suspense was likely to cause undue fear and distress to children. We concluded the combination of the ad’s content, and the possibility that the warning would be ignored, meant that ad (a) was likely to cause distress to those younger viewers who saw it. We acknowledged the steps Three had taken to reduce the likelihood of children seeing the ad and we recognised that it was unlikely that they could take steps to prevent all under 15s from seeing the ad. However, we understood that it would have been possible for Three to limit the targeting of the ad so that it was only served to YouTube users signed into accounts belonging to those who had declared themselves to be over the age of 15. In that respect, we considered applying that additional option would have further reduced the likelihood of children being served and watching the ad. While Three had taken steps to target the ad, we concluded nevertheless that it had not been targeted appropriately.

2. Upheld

We understood the complainant’s 10-year-old child had become distressed by ad (a), having watched ad (b) and clicking through to ad (a. It was our understanding from Three that ad (b) could not be subjected to any means of targeting and was served to all YouTube users (regardless of whether or not they had signed into their account) on the day it appeared. Therefore, we understood that ad (a), which had been embedded at the end of ad (b), was also available to all YouTube users.

While the content of ad (b) included scenes from ad (a), we considered that its content was milder. However, ad (b) included an invitation for viewers to click here – if you dare and an embedded version of ad (a), which played if clicked on. From the information and content presented in ad (b), we considered children were unlikely to understand that ad (a) might be unsuitable for them, given that they had been able to access and watch ad (b). Ad (a)’s warning appeared after the user had clicked on the embedded video and as noted above, we considered that made clear that its contents were not suitable for under-15s. Notwithstanding that, ad (b) was available to all YouTube users, including those who were not signed into their account. In those particular circumstances — where all YouTube users were served ad (b) and could click through to ad (a) — we considered the phrase click here if you dare and the warning which appeared after users clicked through to ad (a) were insufficient to prevent YouTube users under the age of 15 from continuing to watch ad (a). For those reasons, we concluded that ad (b) had not been responsibly targeted and therefore, it breached the Code.

3. Upheld

One complainant’s child saw ad (c) before a YouTube video featuring the Minecraft character I am Goldenpants . We noted Three’s comments that YouTube did not regard Minecraft to be children’s content and we understood that depending on the edition of the game, PEGI (Pan European Gaming Information) had given it various age ratings from 7 to 12. Although it was our understanding that the game Minecraft did not have an audience that comprised exclusively of children, we also understood that it was, nevertheless, very popular among them. Given that, we considered YouTube videos that featured Minecraft gaming content were likely to be of particular interest to children.

We noted ad (a) could be accessed via ad (c) by way of hyperlinked text that stated click to watch if you dare . As stated above in point 2, we considered young children were unlikely to interpret that statement as a warning about ad (a)’s content or properly acknowledge it, given they had been served and had been able to watch ad (c), which featured much milder content.

While we recognised Three had identified and restricted content before which ad (c) should not be shown, the ad still appeared before a video that we considered went beyond broad appeal to YouTube users and was highly likely to be of appeal or interest to children. In that context, we considered that ad (c) had not been targeted appropriately and therefore, it was in breach of the Code.

Action

We told Three to ensure that future ads which were unsuitable for viewing by children were appropriately targeted.

Read more News: Latest Cuts at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast Blu ray The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast is collection of films by Herschell Gordon Lewis consisting of:

  • Blood Feast
  • Scum of the Earth
  • Two Thousand Maniacs!
  • Moonshine Mountain
  • Color Me Blood Red
  • Something Weird
  • The Gruesome Twosome
  • A Taste of Blood
  • She-Devils on Wheels
  • Just for the Hell of It
  • How to Make a Doll
  • The Wizard of Gore
  • The Gore Gore Girls
  • This Stuff’ll Kill Ya!

UK: BBFC details not yet published for:

  • 2016 Arrow The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast (RB) Blu-ray/(R2) DVD Combo at UK Amazon released on 24th October 2016

Blood Feast is a 1963 US horror by Herschell Gordon Lewis.
With William Kerwin, Mal Arnold and Connie Mason. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Banned as a video nasty in 1983. Cut by the BBFC for 2001 DVD and uncut for 2005 DVD. Uncut and unrated in the USSee further details at Melon Farmers Film Cuts: Blood Feast

Promotional Material

In 1963, director Herschell Gordon Lewis pulled a cow s tongue out of an actress mouth on camera, and in doing so, changed the landscape of horror cinema forever. That sequence was just one of numerous gruesome gags featured in Blood Feast, the film credited as being the world s first gore movie. It s no exaggeration to say that the modern gross-out movies of today owe their very existence to the pioneering efforts of H.G. Lewis.

But whilst Lewis is most widely celebrated for his blood-and-guts epics (Two Thousand Maniacs!, The Wizard of Gore et al.), there s more to the prolific director than splatter. From tales of sordid photographers (Scum of the Earth) to sex robots (How to Make a Doll), from biker girl-gangs (She-Devils on Wheels) to youths-run-amok (Just for the Hell of It), and from psychic witches (Something Weird) to hard liquor-loving hillbillies (Moonshine Mountain), the filmography of H.G. Lewis reads like a veritable wish-list of exploitation movie madness.

Now, for the first time ever, Arrow Video is proud to present fourteen of the Godfather of Gore s most essential films (including nine Blu-ray world debuts), collected together at last and packed full of eye-popping bonus content. So put your feet up, pour yourself a glass of good ol moonshine, and prepare yourself for a feast H.G. Lewis style!

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:

  • Fourteen of the Godfather of Gore s finest attractions, newly restored from original and best surviving vault materials: Blood Feast, Scum of the Earth, Two Thousand Maniacs!, Moonshine Mountain, Color Me Blood Red, Something Weird, The Gruesome Twosome, A Taste of Blood, She-Devils on Wheels, Just for the Hell of It, How to Make a Doll, The Wizard of Gore, The Gore Gore Girls, This Stuff ll Kill Ya!
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the features and extras on 7 Blu-ray and 7 DVD discs
  • Brand new introductions to the films by Lewis
  • Hours of extras including newly-produced interviews and featurettes, commentaries, short films and much more
  • Additional 2 bonus Blu-rays featuring 1.33:1 versions of Blood Feast, Scum of the Earth, Color Me Blood Red, A Taste of Blood and The Wizard of Gore [limited editions exclusive]
  • Additional bonus DVD: Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore documentary [limited editions exclusive]
  • 28-page H.G. Lewis annual stuffed full with Lewis-themed activities plus archive promotional material [limited editions exclusive]
  • Newly illustrated packaging by The Twins of Evil [Feast edition exclusive]
Read more UK News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

phonepayplus logo The UK’s premium rate services regulator, PhonepayPlus , is changing its name to the Phone-paid Services Authority , and adopting a new statement of purpose:

The UK regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill.

The name change will be implemented in autumn 2016.

Also PhonepayPlus’ new 14th Code of Practice for premium rate services comes into force, providing increased transparency and fairness and streamlining of our investigations, adjudications and appeals procedures.

David Edmonds CBE, Chairman of PhonepayPlus, said:

As we introduce the latest edition of our Code of Practice, I’m pleased to announce PhonepayPlus’ new name: the Phone-paid Services Authority.

We’ve worked closely with industry stakeholders, consumers and our staff on this project, listening to them on how we can explain our role clearly for consumers while reflecting and supporting competition, innovation and investment in the market that we regulate.

As the Phone-paid Services Authority, we will continue to put consumers and the industry at the heart of our work as UK’s regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill.

Read more UK Press Censor News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

ipso 2016 logo Press regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), has announced a review of the way its regulations should apply to global digital publishers. The review has been triggered by concerns that IPSO’s original regulations may no longer be adequate to deal with some of the issues thrown up by new models of global publishing.

IPSO Chief Executive, Matt Tee said:

When the current regulations were drafted nearly four years ago, it was difficult to imagine the developments that would take place in digital publishing, with some publishers having numerous editorial bureaux across the world focused on different audiences in different time zones. This is already an issue for some IPSO members and is bound to affect others in future. It may also be a disincentive to other global digital publishers joining IPSO. We want a solution that enables IPSO to be an effective regulator for relevant consumers and provides a definition that is intuitive and workable for publishers.

The review will be carried out by IPSO’s Board as expeditiously as possible. The terms of reference for the review will be to:

Consider how best to define the content, published online by a global publisher, that should fall under IPSO’s remit consult with global digital publishers on a proposed definition examine the experience of overseas press regulators as well as regulators in other areas of communication, such as broadcast or video on demand seek advice on how a revised definition would best be implemented.

Until the review is concluded, IPSO may exercise its discretion not to consider new complaints which relate specifically to articles and other content about events in overseas jurisdictions, and which are not primarily targeted at a UK audience.

IPSO will be contacting relevant parties in the next week inviting them to make submissions to the review, however submissions are welcome from any person or group. Submissions should be sent to digitalreview@ipso.co.uk. The closing date for submissions is midday on Friday 19 August 2016.

Read more BBFC News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Spit Your Grave Region NTSC I Spit on Your Grave is a 2010 USA crime horror thriller by Steven R Monroe.
Starring Sarah Butler, Jeff Branson and Andrew Howard. BBFC link IMDb

A writer who is brutalized during her cabin retreat seeks revenge on her attackers, who left her for dead.

UK: A pre-cut version was passed 18 for sexual violence, bloody violence after 53s of BBFC compulsory cuts for:

  • 2016 AMC Networks International UK [Material also pre-cut by company.] video

The BBFC commented:

  • Cuts were required during scenes of sexual violence in order to remove potentially harmful material (in this case shots of nudity that tend to eroticse sexual violence and shots of humiliation that tend to endorse sexual violence by encouraging viewer complicity in sexual humiliation and rape). The cuts were made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines, policy and the Video Recordings Act 1984.

Background to this version

Earlier this year in May, Ofcom announced that it was investigating a complaint about a broadcast of the remake of I Spit on Your Grave on the Horror Channel in March. The sequel to the remake I Spit on Your Grave 2 was being shown at the same time and it was noted that maybe this could be involved in the complaint too.schnittberichte.com also pointed out that a January showing of I Spit on Your Grave wasn’t actually a BBFC approved version. The website concludes that the Horror Channel did its own edit, which although cut, was stronger than the BBFC version.

Surely this complaint, and the possibility of interim versions, is behind this week’s BBFC new classification of  I Spit on Your Grave and I Spit on Your Grave 2, submitted by AMC Networks International, owners of Horror Channel.

The BBFC passed this latest version of I Spit on Your Grave as 18 after 53s of BBFC cuts for sexual violence, bloody violence.

So perhaps these leaves the Horror Channel in the lurch with Ofcom. Ofcom will no doubt find that the channel should have shown the BBFC cut version. The channel will now be in breach of the rules of the land explicitly requiring  that TV channels show BBFC approved versions (or versions where the BBFC have given the nod that they would no longer require cuts if resubmitted).

Comment

Thanks to Glenn who disagrees with the BBFC claims that cuts are required. He wrote to the censors saying:

Being in possession of a full, uncensored version, I have been fortunate to bear witness to the director’s intended vision. The board should not be cutting this film. It is incredibly insulting and hypocritical that the board are more than happy to pass “Baise Moi” uncut (and rightly so!) but insist on censoring a film that will have appeal to the masses, rather than just the middle class art brigade. Of further insult is the blatant ignoring of public opinion that you, ever so proudly, claim to shape your guidelines. On this very site, the previous public consultation undertook by the BBFC is there for all to read. However, some of the viewers felt that the film could easily pass uncut given the second half of the film and her retribution to the culprits. This clearly counterbalances the graphic scenes of rape. You seemed to have ignored the advice of the general public and proceeded to do as you wish.

Your claims of “eroticised sexual violence” is worrying to say the least. I’ve yet to meet, or speak to, anybody who found any of the films erotic or eroticised. This is something that obviously only the board is seeing. No one else is. Sorry? Who are you protecting, again?

It is also worth noting that the OFLC, the Australian censorship body, has passed all the films uncut and their guidelines are stricter than yours! Plus, there is NO recorded evidence that any harm has come to anybody as a result of these films being available uncut anywhere in the world. And the majority of people in Britain have seen the uncut versions of them. Still no reports of harm.

Read more Australia Censorship News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

bug butcher Bug Butcher is a fun shoot ’em up computer game from Awfully Nice Studios.It has just been banned by the Australian Censor Board for reasons which are not yet apparent. The censors have provided just an uninformative stock statement on the website noting the game as ‘Refused Classification’.

The description of the game does not really make the game sound very bannable:

You play Harry, an exterminator who gets tasked with slaughtering bugs in a futuristic research facility, in order to buy the surviving scientists time until the total decontamination process is complete. It’s a simple game where you face wave after wave of enemies, picking up new weapons and power-ups in order to enhance your slaying skills.

Read more News: Latest Cuts at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Poster Suicide Squad 2016 David Ayer Suicide Squad is a 2016 USA action crime fantasy by David Ayer.
Starring Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne and Will Smith. BBFC link IMDb

A secret government agency run by Amanda Waller, named A.R.G.U.S creates a task force comprising super villains, the “Suicide Squad”. They are assigned to execute dangerous tasks in exchange for shorter prison sentences.

Even the word ‘suicide’ is a bit much for our film censors. Having a belief that viewers are affected by the films they see, then ‘suicide’ in films appealing to children, conjures up the need to be ultra sensitive and cautious. It’s probably not possible to edit it out of the title, so perhaps it was always inevitable that the film would be at least 15 rated in the UK.And indeed that is the case, the BBFC have passed Suicide Squad as 15 uncut for sustained threat, moderate violence for 2016 cinema release in 2D and 3D versions.

The US MPAA had previously rated the film PG-13 for s equences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content and language.

And the world censors seem to have mostly sided with the American film censor. Australia (M=PG-15), Netherlands (12), Norway (12) , Singapore (PG-13) and Ireland (15A) all being lower than the UK. Russia opted for a higher 16 rating though.