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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2005, 14:06 GMT
BBC defends 'digital face' trails
Faces campaign
The ad features a giant head made up of smaller ones
The BBC has defended its adverts for digital TV following criticism from viewers who found them frightening.

The Faces campaign - which features a giant animated head made up of smaller heads - has generated 400 complaints.

But the BBC said the campaign had been tested with a sample of viewers before the trailers aired.

"They have generated an encouraging level of enquiries, which has vastly outnumbered the amount of complaints received," a spokeswoman said.

The imagery is designed to represent the majority of viewers who are now able to watch digital TV, she added.

A statement on the BBC's complaints website said the advertisements featured "innovative animation and eye-catching imagery".

'Absolutely horrible'

"It is designed to be upbeat with cheerful music," it continued, adding that the trails were not screened near children's programmes.

However, one viewer complained to the BBC's Points of View website that the image was "disturbingly psychotic".

"It makes me feel queasy thinking about it," wrote another contributor, while a third described it as "absolutely horrible".

The campaign is the latest in a series of promotions for the BBC's digital services.

the BBC's 2003 Cliffhanger trailer
The BBC withdrew its 2003 "Cliffhanger" trailer after complaints
An earlier campaign featured BBC personalities ripping off their faces to reveal other celebrities beneath. Another had gelatinous blobs representing the BBC's array of digital radio services.

In 2003 the BBC dropped a promotional trailer which featured a woman fleeing a fire before falling over a cliff.

Instead of rushing to help the woman, a couple sat transfixed with the tag line "everyone likes to watch".

The trailer was withdrawn after it prompted hundreds of viewer complaints.

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