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BT gets thumbs up for 'geeks' and gremlins

ASA clears advert featuring Dragons' Den star

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has cleared adverts promoting BT's business telecom and home broadband services, following complaints from 31 viewers over adverts featuring Dragons' Den star Peter Jones and My Family's Kris Marshall.

Peter Jones is the new face of BT's business adverts, but one ad featuring "pointy teeth, green-grey skinned" Gremlins attracted 11 complaints, with parents complaining that the mischievous monsters gave their children nightmares. While the ASA warned that the "goblinesque" features of the Gremlins might scare "very young children", the regulator said the characters were more comedic than threatening.

Separately, the ASA received 21 complaints over a BT Broadband ad promoting the ISP's parental software, with all but one of the complainants concerned that the ad featuring actor Kris Marshall encouraged parents to allow children to browse the web unsupervised. Nine people said the ad, in which one character said "I am worried that she might be a geek", misled viewers by suggesting BT's parental control features would protect children from all online threats.

However, the ASA ruled that the ad was not misleading, giving credit to BT for offering the parental software, and for showing the parents supervising their child's internet use.

Watch the BT 'Gremlins' ad below.


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