Daily Mail targeted at aged readers, not youngsters…Daily Mail let off by the advert censor for trailing a 15 rated ghost film before a One Direction music video

Posted: 24 March, 2016 in ASA Advert Censor
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Read more ASA Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Paranormal Activity Ghost Dimension DVD a. A pre-roll video ad for the certificate 15 film Paranormal Activity – The Ghost Dimension , seen on 21 October 2015, on the Mail Online website http://www.dailymail.co.uk, before a clip relating to the boy band One Direction.

b. The same ad was seen on a playlist of pre-selected Disney and music lyric videos accessed via the Vevo app on an Apple TV.

The complainant, who believed the ads appeared before content likely to appeal to children, challenged whether the ads were responsibly targeted. parental controls that could have prevented the ad from being shown were available on the Apple TV device.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

We understood that the ad was for a certificate 15 film. We noted that the ad contained screams of a young girl who appeared to be possessed, with visuals that suggested supernatural activity and atmospheric music. We considered that the ad was serious in tone and that, while it would not cause fear or distress to older people (including the target demographic of 15- to 24-year-olds), it was unsuitable for display before content under 15s were likely to be watching.

We understood that Paramount Pictures utilised a targeting strategy where the ad was served on music content that had been shown to be popular with 15 to 24-year-olds. Examples of artists used to target consumers included One Direction, Beyonce and Selena Gomez. We noted that the ad was further targeted by only being served to those with an online profile that indicated they were over the age of 15.

We understood that ad (a) appeared before a clip about the popular boyband One Direction. Although we acknowledged that the group were popular with people of various ages, including under 15s, we considered that the Mail Online contained current affairs content that was not likely to appeal to children, and that ad (a) had therefore not been irresponsibly targeted before that clip on the site.

We understood ad (b) was served before videos in a playlist that the complainant had created within her own Apple account. We understood that her playlist was likely to have been targeted because it featured videos by the selected artists and because she was signed into her Apple TV account which indicated she was over 15. We noted that the ad had appeared before videos from artists who would be popular with people of various ages, including under 15s, but that they appealed primarily to the target demographic of 15- to 24-year-olds. As such, we did not consider that the ad was placed within content specifically aimed at children or likely to appeal to them particularly.

For those reasons, we concluded that the ads had not been irresponsibly targeted.

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