Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Glee, one of lifes guilty pleasures for many. Television adverts, one of lifes pains. Now, imagine you are a teenager watching Glee on a Monday night and it goes to the adverts. All of a sudden, an advert appears for a new film - The Mechanic...and it graphically pictures a man's head being blown up. Would your reaction be of shock and disgust at such a vulgar and inappropriate advert on during a teen show? Or would it be of dismissal, perhaps of even no reaction at all? I know what mine would be. What if I was to now tell you that The Mechanic television advert had been banned due to its violent nature? Wait, it gets better. The advert was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority after a mere 13 complaints were made regarding the content of the advert.

I suppose the main reason behind the banning of the advert was that adults believed that children should not be exposed to such violence when trying to watch a safe television programme like Glee. However, it could most definitely be argued that the chirpy Glee, would have a much larger mental effect on said children that the movie advert itself. The reason for this being that teenagers relate to the American drama, significantly more that they would relate to a movie about a 40 year old man with an over-active trigger finger. The ups and downs of the characters, have a lot more impact on the British audience of Glee, than a 30 second advert that they may or may not even register. Teens are impressionable, confident, shy and curious. All they want is someone to look up to and follow in the footsteps of. What if there's a 13 year old girl in Edinburgh who one day wants to grow up to be like one of the characters from Glee? What if during the series, the young girl's idol becomes pregnant at 15 or 16 whilst still at high school? Now, that's a dilemma.  On the other hand, the same 13 year old sees the advert for The Mechanic but doesn't connect even slightly with what the advert is selling. She doesn't want to go and see this movie, nor does the 14 year boy watching in Swindon. Really, if they're watching Glee, there's a very slim chance that they will be interested in The Mechanic - however there may  be a few exceptions to this statement.

Moreover, the fact that only 13 people out of the millions who will have viewed the advert, actually complained - must count for something. As a 15 year old, I know that after watching a lot of Glee and admittedly - a lot of scary and perhaps violent movies, I can say that I have in no way been affected in a negative way by either. Also, at the end of the day - it's a movie. Its not real. I mean, they probably used tomato sauce and cooked  chicken to simulate the contents of the victims head that was shot. Let's be honest here, banning the advert was more than a little extreme. If you are effected by a television advert that is on after 9 o'clock, you should probably already be in bed so that you're ready for the next hard day - of playing with the Lego at nursery.