New Zealand Law Society - BSA finds shark movie advert breached children's interests

BSA finds shark movie advert breached children's interests

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The Broadcasting Standards Authority has upheld a complaint about the advertising of a 'jaws style' shark movie on TVNZ 2 during a children's show.

A promo for the movie, The Shallows which has an AO classification was broadcast during Finding Dory which has a G classification.

The Authority found that the promo, broadcast on 10 March which featured sinister and scary shark related content, did not meet the G classification of the host programme, and was inappropriate for the child audience which would likely have been disturbed and alarmed by it. The 30 second long promo included; surfers looking frightened, a female surfer yelling 'get out of the water' to a male swimmer, a female surfer screaming underwater, the shark swimming beneath one of the surfers and the female surfer firing a gun.

The Authority noted the importance of scheduling and editing promos for AO programmes appropriately, taking into account the classification of the host programme, and also the time of broadcast, target and likely audience of the host programme, and audience expectations.

TVNZ submitted that the promo did not breach the children’s interests standard for  reasons including that sharks are not an unusual part of the Finding Nemo and Finding Dory movies, the references to and vision of sharks were ‘carefully used so the shark is never shown harming any person and the promo was edited so that it did not contain any material which would be unsuitable for child viewers and is consistent with the expectations of the G certificate.

In upholding the complaint the BSA said the host programme, Finding Dory, is a well-known children’s movie about cartoon sea life, aimed at children under 10 and was played on a Sunday night before the 8.30pm AO timeband. It says children were therefore the target and likely audience, and the audience expectation during Finding Dory and during ad breaks was for content suitable for young children.

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