Channel 4 in hot water over 'Six Feet Under' ad campaign

LONDON: Controversy is not new territory for Britain's Channel 4. Earlier it drew the ire of UK authorities through shows like the Brass Eye paedophile special, The Autopsy.

Now its ad campaign for the critically acclaimed show Six Feet Under that pictured glamorous men and women alongside references to "wound filler" and "embalming fluid" has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

A Media Guardian report indicates that the watchdog launched an investigation into press ads for Six Feet Under, which revolves around a family of Los Angeles undertakers. ASA has received over 100 complaints. In India, the show airs on Zee English.

Channel 4's promotional campaign, drew its inspiration from the mock television ads for funeral service products such as embalming fluid and wound filler that appeared in the pilot episode of the show.

The ad campaign is shot in the same style as these spoof ads from the show, which are a pastiche of conventional campaigns for upmarket beauty and fashion brands. One of the ads features a naked head and shoulders shot of a male model, made up to look like a corpse, with an image of a bottle of spoof brand "In Eternum embalming fluid" beside him.

Defending the strategy, Channel 4 marketing manager, Katie Hayes had been quoted in earlier reports saying: "Six Feet Under embodies the attitudes and values of Channel 4 - innovative, provocative and intelligent. By marketing the Fisher's funeral business instead of directly marketing the show, we aim to create intrigue and anticipation. Although the campaign focuses on death, the parallels that we draw with the fashion and beauty industry give it a sardonic but tasteful feel."

Several media owners are understood to have shown their opposition to the ad campaign by offering Channel 4 such disadvantageous advertising space that the broadcaster decided not to book the ads. The print ads featured in Time Out, the Independent on Sunday Review, the Observer magazine and the Times magazine.

The ASA complainants said that the campaign could be offensive, particularly to people who had recently lost a loved one. Channel 4 has already been forced to take down a poster campaign for the series after it was deluged with complaints.

Latest Reads
The Quint Launches the ‘Me, the Change’ Initiative On First-Time Women Voters

The Quint is happy to announce ‘Me, the Change’ - an editorial initiative that focuses exclusively on the aspirations of first-time women voters in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

MAM Marketing MAM
Amagi appoints Stephanie Lee to lead market expansion in APAC

Amagi, a cloud-based technology for TV and OTT broadcasters, has announced that it has appointed Stephanie Lee as head of sales – APAC, to expand its footprint in the region. The appointment follows the recent opening of Amagi’s subsidiary and regional sales office in Singapore.

MAM Media and Advertising People
Guest Column: The role of digital marketing in achieving better ROI during festive seasons

When it comes to the world of marketing and advertising, festivals provide a unique opportunity to reach a wide audience with an almost singular emotion- “celebration”. And while in western markets, this peak season is predominantly during Christmas, it is a completely different ball game in India.

MAM Marketing Brands
KKR announces Kaustabh Jha as new Head of Marketing

Kolkata Knight Riders announces the appointment of Kaustubh Jha as Head of Marketing. Kaustubh comes with over 10 years of experience in partnerships, content marketing and campaign management. He joins KKR from ESPN, where he was leading brand and content marketing for both ESPN Cricinfo and ESPN...

MAM Media and Advertising People
Havmor appoints Anindya Dutta as managing director

Havmor, India’s leading ice cream brand and a wholly owned subsidiary of South Korean conglomerate Lotte Confectionery, has appointed Anindya Dutta as its new managing director.

MAM Media and Advertising People
Mangaldeep's conversation with God with Bhumika Chawla

ITC’s leading incense stick brand, Mangaldeep, has launched a unique ‘slice of life’ campaign that depicts everyday conversations with God.

MAM Marketing Brands
Medikabazaar hires senior leadership team in line with its growth plans

Medikabazaar, India’s leading B2B online aggregator for medical supplies recently announced the appointment of Dr. Akash Rajpal as Executive Vice-President, Marketing and Product Management.

MAM Marketing MAM
Birla Ayurveda launches medicines and personal care products

Birla Ayurveda, a part of the Yash Birla Group, launched its collection of personal care products and medicines.

MAM Marketing Brands
Hindware Atlantic Water Heaters launches first campaign

The TVC highlights O'Pro Protection Technology & Titanium Core Shield that enhances the life of water heaters.

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories