Phones4U's ghost advert complaints rejected by ASA

More than 500 viewers who complained that a television advert showing a ghost-like girl was "distressing" have had their complaints rejected.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the commercial, for mobile phone company Phones4U, was shown after the 9pm watershed.

The ASA said 525 viewers complained that the advertisement was offensive and unduly distressing.

Phones4U said the commercial was meant to parody a horror film.

No sense of threat or menace was intended for the advert which was shown around Halloween, it added.

The advert included a 30-second clip which showed a woman walking through an underground car park while a little girl, with a ghostly appearance, was seen in the background.

The woman looked scared and ran to her car, dropping her shopping. Once she was in the car, the girl appeared at the window and held out a mobile phone to the woman, who screamed.

A young girl's voiceover then explained the deals available on a mobile phone, before an adult female voiceover said: "Missing our deals will haunt you."

Apart from expressing concerns about the content, the complainants also said the commercial was inappropriately scheduled, claiming that it had gone out at a time when children might see it.

But the ASA said the programmes the advert was screened around were unlikely to be viewed by children.

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