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BSkyB Criticized for Airing Condom Commercial After 'Ice Age 4'

Ice Age 4

The U.K. ad watchdog says the pay TV giant should "take more care" with its spot scheduling given young viewers were likely to watch.

LONDON – The British advertising watchdog has criticized pay TV giant BSkyB for airing a condom commercial right after family movie Ice Age 4: Continental Drift.

The Durex spot on the Sky Movies Premiere network featured couples in various "sensual embraces," including a scene with a couple that "could be interpreted as alluding to sexual activity," said the Advertising Standards Authority on Wednesday.

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It highlighted that the spot's voiceover said: "When great sex moves you, nothing else matters."

BSkyB said that the ad aired at 9:32 p.m., well after Britain's 9 p.m. "watershed" for adult content. It also said that ratings showed a 0 percent share of children aged 4-9 as having watched.

The ASA said that the tone of the voiceover underlined the sensual feel of the spot and that networks must "exercise responsible judgment" on ad scheduling.

"Because we considered that the ad had been scheduled around a program that was commissioned for and likely to appeal particularly to children, including those under 10 years old, we concluded the ad had not met the scheduling requirements arising from the product classification and had been broadcast at an unsuitable time," concluded the ASA. "We told BSkyB to take more care with their scheduling in future."

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai