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Friday, 16 August, 2002, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Ad body backs spider posters
Eight Legged Freaks
Eight Legged Freaks stars David Arquette
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided not to uphold dozens of complaints about a series of posters showing giant spiders.

The campaign, for the horror film Eight Legged Freaks in which mutant spiders terrorise an American town, has led to 54 complaints to the ASA.

Eight Legged Freaks
The film has become a hit in the UK
But on Friday the body's council concluded the complaints were not justified.

It accepted the advertisements had caused distress to some - but not "serious or widespread offence".

The posters show huge, lifelike spiders attacking smaller humans and contain the slogan "Let the squashing begin!"

One complainant reportedly said that he nearly crashed his car when he drove past one of the huge roadside posters.

The film, which stars David Arquette, was released on 9 August and entered the UK box office chart at number three.

Unclothed

An ASA spokeswoman told BBC News Online that images of spiders in advertisements had prompted complaints before - up to six, in one instance - but not on the scale of the reponse to the Eight Legged Freaks campaign.

In 2000, a poster featuring an unclothed Sophie Dahl promoted hundreds of complaints to the ASA.

The most complaints received by the organisation were for a poster campaign for national condom week - which featured the Pope wearing a builder's hard hat.

The ASA's code states that "no advertisement should cause fear or distress without good reason" and that "advertisers should not use shocking claims or images merely to attract attention".

See also:

13 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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18 Dec 00 | UK
04 Apr 01 | UK
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