The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a poster for horror sequel Final Destination 5 for being too violent.
The poster, used on buses and in the London Underground over the summer, showed a skull being shattered by steel rods driven through its mouth and eye sockets.
The watchdog said the image "was likely to cause fear and undue distress to children".
It ruled the ad must not appear in its original form again.
The ASA said 13 people complained about the poster, with three saying it had upset their children aged between one and three years old.
Warner Bros, which distributed the film, responded by saying it believed the poster "accurately reflected the content of the film in an appropriate manner without causing excessive fear or distress".
It said the posters were "surreal" containing an animated fantasy image and did not feature people, blood or display any real life violence.
It also argued that the posters' dark grey and black colours were "unlikely to engage the attention of young children".
In its adjudication, the ASA said: "We considered the image was likely to catch the attention of children, especially because it was shown on a poster on the Underground, where it was an untargeted medium.
"Because very young children might view this ad depicting violence, it was likely to cause fear and undue distress to children."
The film was released in cinemas in August and has since been released for home viewing.