BT Gremlins and parental controls in front of ASA
A total of 21 people complained about a recent BT Total Broadband TV advert which followed the BT family soap opera and a teenage tantrum over what the daughter is allowed to do online. The complaints centered around two issues, that the advert appeared to condone letting children use the internet unsupervised, and that the implication was that the BT parental controls protected from all online threats.
None of the complaints were upheld, the ASA accepted that the advert actually showed the parents exercising control of their childs internet access. Regarding the parental controls the ASA in conjunction with Clearcast believed the overall impression from the advert was not that it offered total protection.
The second BT advert was for its BT 24/7 Business service that offers IT and communications support. This featured Gremlins causing havoc in an office to show that IT problems can occur at anytime. The eleven complaints challenged whether the scheduling restrictions were sufficient as their young children had been frightened by the Gremlins, resulting in nightmares for some.
These complaints again were not upheld, the advert had been deliberately scheduled to avoid shows specifically targeted at children and the advert content was such that the Gremlins did not harm the character in the advert. BT itself felt the advert was fairly tame in comparison to other content that children are exposed to. It seems that there has even been requests for Gremlin toys from children who have seen the advert.