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Friday, 29 November, 2002, 13:17 GMT
Satire ad ban 'too hasty'
The banned 2DTV ad
2DTV producers says the programme is more offensive
A TV watchdog has said its rules were applied too rigidly over an advert for satirical cartoon 2DTV banned for making fun of US President George Bush.

The commercial for a Christmas video from the team behind the ITV1 show was prevented from being shown after it was ruled insulting to Mr Bush.

The Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) was responsible for pulling the advert, but it uses a code laid down by the Independent Television Commission.

Although the ITC cannot overrule the decision, it is will hold discussions with the BACC about applying the rules.

The ads were deemed offensive because they questioned the president's intelligence, and without having asked his permission.

The ITC's advertising code says: "With limited exceptions, living people must not be portrayed, caricatured or referred to in advertisements without their permission."

But a spokesman for the ITC said that the decision to ban the adverts may have been too hasty.

Beckham ban

"We feel given the description of the adverts the decision to ban it may have been over-zealous and we will be having discussions about looking at the context when applying the code," said the spokesman.


People are entitled not to be exploited for someone else's commercial gain

Uisdean Maclean,
TV ad watchdog

In one of the 2DTV ads, a cartoon President Bush was shown opening a copy of the video and saying: "My favourite - just pop it in the video player."

But he places it in a toaster instead and the videotape is burnt.

US President George Bush in the show
The show mocks politicians and celebrities
The watchdog said it was offensive towards President Bush.

Abusive

Another promotion for the tape featuring England football captain David Beckham was also banned.

The ad featured Beckham asking his wife: "Victoria, how do you spell DVD?"

The BACC ruled it was also offensive.

Producers defended the ads by saying the show itself was more abusive, but had never had a warning from TV watchdogs.

2DTV producer Giles Pilbrow told BBC News Online the BACC had blindly applied their code.

"It's their interpretation that it is offensive to Bush. That is our bread and butter. We are far ruder to him on the programme," he said.

Mr Pilbrow said he had asked whether the same rule would apply if the ad had featured caricatures of Osama Bin Laden or Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, and the BACC had said it would.

The watchdog's director, Uisdean Maclean, defended the decision.

"People are entitled not to be exploited for someone else's commercial gain," he said.

See also:

27 Nov 02 | TV and Radio
10 Oct 02 | England
13 Sep 02 | England
12 Sep 02 | Business
16 Jul 02 | Film
15 Jul 02 | TV and Radio
05 Jul 02 | Music
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