Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Anti-Smoking Ad’ Terrifies Kids

A government advert aimed at convincing parents to give up smoking petrified children and broke every rule in the book, the Advertising Standards Authority says.

The independent regulator ruled that the "I'm not scared" TV advert, which attracted 56,000 complaints overall, should not be shown before mid-night.

In it, a little girl says “I’m not afraid of the dark – I’m not scared of spiders – I’m not scared of Feral Beryl the school bully – I’m not even scared of that dirty old pedo’ twat who lives down the lane – but I am scared of me Mum coughing her guts up and croakin’ – so I end up in some orphanage. That makes me shit kittens.”

At this moment - the closing point of the ad’- Mummy is seen chatting to a friend while smoking a king-sized cigarette, then goes into a gut-wrenching paroxysm as she coughs up lumps of phlegm, blood and cobs of tumourous rotting lung tissue – then falls dead.

While the initial message is to convince parents to stop smoking, the pass-on effect is to influence children not to smoke also.

Conversely a survey by the anti-smoking charity Lungers found that after viewing the controversial advert, many children had started smoking their parent’s cigarettes so there were less cancer sticks left in the pack for them to consume.

Parents who saw the ad’ were themselves so shocked the first thing they did was light a cigarette to calm their nerves.

The decision to ban the ad’ comes as the ASA declared a Volkswagen TV advert showing an engineer fighting with replicas of himself as shocking, offensive and unsuitable for children.
It claimed this could lead to an epidemic of even more of Britain’s already brain-dead children developing Multiple Personality Disorders and first-stage schizophrenia.

The ASA said it recognised the "serious and worthwhile" nature of an advert designed to make parents assess the emotional impact of smoking on their children.
However, it further considered that even if cigarettes were sold in packs emblazoned with the skull and crossbones and the name TUMOURS printed across both sides in blood-red capitals, people would still queue up to buy them.

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