14 July 2010

Zombie queen a part of history

A digital poster for the London Dungeon featuring the sudden transformation of Queen Mary into a zombie-like character has been banned by the advertising watchdog for scaring children.

The ad, developed by the agency Farm, ran on digital screens throughout London Underground stations.

Over the period of a few seconds an image of a serene Queen Mary – dubbed "Bloody Mary" for her persecution of Protestants – sitting on a chair, morphs into a zombie-like character with sunken eyes, pale skin, a wide-open mouth and a scarred face.

The Advertising Standards Authority received four complaints that the ad was likely to frighten and distress children and was "inappropriate for display in an untargeted medium" such as digital escalator panels [...]

Merlin Entertainments, which runs the London Dungeon, said that in order to "avoid causing fear and distress" it had followed London Underground's guidelines in "avoiding flames and excessive, dripping or running blood".

The company said that it had planned to run the ad again on the London Underground during the summer school holidays and Halloween.

It was meant to show the "dark side of [Queen Mary's] personality and portray her as a villain", Merlin added. The company said that the ad was "obviously historical and in no way irresponsible or gratuitous".

- Guardian, 14 July 2010

[The ad was 'historical': so does that mean Queen Mary was 'obviously' a zombie? I saw this ad and remember thinking that if it gave me the willies, what would little kids make of it?]

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