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Jigsaw film bus posters spark complaints from Kent parents

By Aidan Barlow

Parents say images promoting a new horror film on the side of buses are too scary for children to see.

Posters for Jigsaw have been seen on the side of Stagecoach buses in Kent and around the country, alongside other marketing on television and online.

But Ashford father-of-two Chris Paine says the image, which depicts a character called Billy the Puppet, is inappropriate for children.

Parent Chris Paine is concerned by the advertising.
Parent Chris Paine is concerned by the advertising.

The film is being released by Lionsgate Films on Thursday under the slogan “a new puzzle begins” in the horror franchise that has been given an 18 rating by the British Board of Film Classification.

Mr Paine, 43, said his daughter saw the posters when they were leaving the train station.

He said: “My children are aged 12 and 15 and they just don’t watch those sort of films. I really don’t think it’s appropriate.

“As the bus pulled up it was literally right in my daughter’s face. It’s fair enough having other bits and pieces in advertising, but horror movies don’t do that.

“We don’t have adverts promoting alcohol, smoking or sex on the side of buses, and I think it should be the same for horror films. I don’t think it’s a good thing to advertise.

“Children are impressionable, and the image is not a pleasant thing to see really, and on the side of buses it’s going round and round the town.”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says it has received 24 complaints about the adverts from across the country, 21 of which are about bus posters.

Meanwhile two were for adverts on Video on Demand, and one was for the television ad, both of which were on during family programming.

Complaints have been made about the Jigsaw posters.
Complaints have been made about the Jigsaw posters.

ASA press officer Estelle Yuen said: “The nature of complaints have generally been that the imagery is frightening and unsuitable for public display where children can easily come across them.

“At this time, we are still in the preliminary stages of determining whether there are grounds for further action. At this stage, we have not launched an investigation.”

Stagecoach spokesman Matthew Maytum said the posters are regulated by the British Code of Advertising Practice.

He said: “Adverts must comply with the Advertising Standards Authority guidelines. We understand that the advert in this particular case complies with the necessary guidelines.”

Lionsgate Films was contacted for comment.

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