Beatbullying to appeal against TV ban on hard-hitting advertising campaign

Clearcast rules images of girl sewing her own mouth shut are too disturbing to be broadcast

Beatbullying advert
Beatbullying advert

Beatbullying will appeal to television advertising clearance firm Clearcast after it ruled that the charity's latest advertising campaign was too distressing to be shown on television.

The You Can Speak Out Now campaign, which shows a teenage girl sewing her mouth closed, includes cinema, radio and billboard adverts as well as a set of four films that will be placed on the front page of video-sharing website YouTube. Stills from the advert will also be used in a schools-based advertising campaign.

The campaign, set up to direct people to the charity's Cyber Mentors website, was launched this morning.

The charity has secured advertising space worth about £1.2m over the next six months, although the charity has spent only £11,000 on the campaign.

Emma-Jane Cross, chief executive of Beatbullying, said the charity would not remove the image of the girl from the television advert before resubmitting it to Clearcast for a second consideration.

"Of course the advert is disturbing, but bullying is a disturbing issue," she said.

"We are disappointed that Clearcast has not given permission to show the advert on television, especially when all the other clearance organisations concerned have given permission for it to be shown through other media."

A spokeswoman for Clearcast said it had not seen a final copy of the advert, but after seeing a pre-production script it had decided not to allow it to be shown on television.

"We decided it was likely to cause widespread offence, however good a cause it may be," she said. "We didn't believe in this case that the ends justified the means."

She said Clearcast would be happy to reconsider the advert after seeing the final video, but that she was unsure whether it would reach a different verdict.

Read Emma-Jane Cross's blog.

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