“The family was watching SpongeBob Squarepants on Studio 2 Live at approximately 4pm one afternoon when they were confronted with a promo for Reservoir Hill which featured what appeared to be a dead body and then a girl trying to gouge another girl’s face. The family said it was ‘quite disturbing’ and not appropriate for young children to watch,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Family First is regularly contacted with concerns about promos for later, and more adult, programmes being shown in the afternoon or during family movies. There has also been concern about these types of promos during the news hour when young people may be watching.”
Family First has been calling for promos for adult programmes to be shown outside of family viewing times and news programmes.
“To TVNZ’s credit, they apologized for any offence or distress caused by the promo being shown during a G rated cartoon and attributed it to ‘an error in the promo rating system’ and that it would be ‘corrected for the future’,” says Mr McCoskrie.
TVNZ recently committed to removing alcohol advertising during family movies after a mother complained about an advertisement for Coruba Rum shown during a TV2 family movie.
“Parents are sick and tired of lunging for the remote to protect children from offensive and inappropriate content during family viewing hours. The broadcasters need to be more sensitive to the target audience – especially where children and families are the target audience,” says Mr McCoskrie.