Angus Wardlaw, a senior creative at CHI, has been having a fun correspondence with the BACC, which he has passed on to me.
Angus questions why the body has approved an ad for the film 'Doomsday':
Open on lots of space soldiers entering a futuristic city. One of the men gets an ice pick in the eye. Blood squirts everywhere before we cut to a stadium full of tattooed zombies etc... and this is okay to broadcast on national TV? I'm eager to know whether I can start including this sort of thing into my scripts (previously, I couldn't even include a car driving over 30mph!)
Here comes the reply:
In terms of film clips, viewers will tolerate, with appropriate timing, levels of violence and sexual content that would provoke outrage if they were in an ad to sell an ordinary product.
Put simply, a film clip of the shower scene from Psycho would probably be approved post 2100. A scenario for a bathroom company utilising the same image would almost certainly be unacceptable as likely to cause widespread general offence.
Angus finishes strongly:
Please help me to understand (as a professional copywriter and an ex-soldier) how a script of such sickening gore and depravity can be approved and aired? But in the case of say, a KFC ad where a lad is talking with his mouth full, you take a dim view of this and ban it?
It's a fun debate.
Personally, I think Angus is right (there's clearly a double standard here) but the BACC is also right - they are simply following their remit not to allow images which the British public find offensive.
So the true guilty party is the British public. We're all a bunch of hypocrites, aren't we?