The midseason premiere of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead didn’t disappoint, as Nick’s “Bear Grylls moment” left many in the audience asking themselves, “Why?” Turns out British parents were asking this very same question back in April, when Channel 4 aired an advertisement for the show during Rango, an animated Nickelodeon film directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp. Sure the film might be the “ultimate kids’ movie for adults,” but that wasn’t enough to justify Fear the Walking Dead commercials according to some viewers.
According to BBC News, the Advertising Standards Authority heard and upheld three complaints, and determined the commercial “created a build-up of suspense that could be distressing to younger children, but that would not be unsuitable for older children to see.” What’s more, Channel 4’s own internal screening process knew this, but failed to flag the ad before it aired:
The advert had been cleared by Clearcast, a company that approves ads for Channel 4 and other commercial broadcasters, with no timing restriction.
But Clearcast added an advisory recommending the channel might want to view it to decide whether it was suitable for viewers aged under nine.
Channel 4’s internal systems failed to flag this up, meaning it was not assessed for its suitability for young children.
The British station “apologised for any distress this error may have caused,” and told the ASA “they took their responsibilities as a broadcaster very seriously and were taking steps to improve how the application of timing restrictions were managed.” Yet neither the ASA nor Channel 4 offered any information regarding what these “steps” might entail.
Something to avoid a much angrier response from parents, no doubt.
(Via BBC News)