Movie-goers standing in a queue to purchase snacks at a cinema complex. (Picture: Getty Images)
  • A movie-goer lodged a complaint against Ster Kinekor for showing violent trailers for the movies "7 Days in Entebbe” and "A Quiet Place” at snack counters.
  • The complainant had qualms with the age-appropriateness of the trailers, which are rated 13 and upwards.
  • The ads authority ruled that the content of the two trailers were shown during an inappropriate time and in a public place with kids all around.

The Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) has ruled in favour of one person's quest to prohibit the screening of movie trailers that are violent in nature at Ster Kinekor’s snack counters – during times that children may be exposed to them.

The ASA complaint stemmed from trailers for the movies "7 Days in Entebbe” and "A Quiet Place” at a snack bar, outside the movie theatres where the age-restricted movies are, in theory, not accessible to children.

7 days in Entebbe

A 2018 crime thriller that recounts the story of Operation Entebbe, a 1976 counter-terrorist hostage-rescue operation.

Movie age rating: 16+

Trailer age rating: 10 to 12 PG

A quiet place

A critically acclaimed horror film that depicts a family who must live life in silence while hiding from creatures which hunt exclusively by sound.

Movie age rating: 16+

Trailer age rating: 13+

Ster Kinekor showed age appropriate trailers in cinemas before children's movies but shows violent trailers at the snack counter, argued complainant Fiona McIlmurray.

The cinema company’s defense was that "while a trailer for a film could be rated 13 based on various factors considered by the Films and Publications Board, the very same film could be rated 16.”

The ASA did not, however, agree with the Ster Kinekor’s logic.

The Authority ruled against Ster Kinekor and held that the fact that the restriction differs from movie to trailer is irrelevant.

“The two trailers in this matter are not shown during appropriate movies. They are shown in a public area, at the food sales point, where parents are unable to make an informed choice as to the content they are exposing their children to,” said the ASA’s directorate.

The screening of the two trailers at snack counters was found to be in contravention of a clause of the ASA’s code that calls for advertisements addressed to, or likely to influence, children to not contain anything that may do them harm.

As a result it is now inappropriate to show trailers for adult or violent movies during times (10h00 to 17h00) when children are most likely to be at cinemas.

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