Change of heart on Beatbullying advert

Clearcast relents and says controversial footage of a teenager sewing her mouth shut can be shown on TV after 9pm

Self-imposed silence: the Beatbullying ad
Self-imposed silence: the Beatbullying ad

A Beatbullying advert that was originally banned by advertising watchdog Clearcast has now been cleared for broadcast on television after the 9pm watershed.

The controversial advert features a teenage girl sewing her own mouth closed, an allusion to the self-imposed silence of some victims of bullying.

The anti-bullying charity appealed against the original decision and 38 MPs signed an early day motion calling for the ban to be repealed.

A Clearcast statement released yesterday said the organisation had seen the final advert for the first time and decided that it would be suitable for viewing on television after 9pm.

The first decision had been based on storyboards submitted in October, said Alice Shelley, copy group manager at Clearcast. "We know bullying is a really important issue and TV ads are an excellent way of making people more aware of the problem," she said. "We're pleased this thought-provoking advert can now be seen by a much wider audience."

Emma-Jane Cross, chief executive of Beatbullying, said the charity was pleased that the advert had been cleared for broadcast. "Even with a post-watershed limit, we are confident that we will still reach millions of young people and encourage them to speak out against bullying," she said.

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