Paranormal Activity 3 TV ads face a pre-watershed ban

ASA rules that commercials for the horror film are too scary to be shown before 9pm


The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a TV ad campaign for the film Paranormal Activity 3 from being broadcast before the watershed after receiving complaints that the commercials had caused a number of children “personal distress”.


The ads, made by Paramount Pictures, consist of a series of three ten-second clips that look like “real” footage shot on a home video camcorder, depicting furniture being moved around by unseen entities, a woman being thrown onto a bed and spooky silhouettes of figures in darkened rooms.

The ASA received 29 complaints about the adverts, even though they were only cleared to be broadcast after 7:30pm to protect sensitive younger viewers.

Complainants claimed that the clips had caused themselves or their children a degree of “personal distress” and said that the ads should not have been shown before 9pm.


While Clearcast, the authority that vets adverts before they are broadcast, said that the audience was old enough to realise that the ads were trailers for a 15-certificate horror film, the ASA disagreed and imposed a pre-watershed ban on the campaign.