Complaint over spooky Parnell billboard upheld

Spookers is based at the former Psychiatric Hospital at Kingseat. Photo / Supplied
Spookers is based at the former Psychiatric Hospital at Kingseat. Photo / Supplied

A ghoulish billboard for horror theme park Spookers had to be taken down from a prominent spot in Parnell after a complaint was made.

The billboard, which featured two monsters covered in blood and baring their teeth aggressively with an "R16 - Restricted entry" message in the right hand corner, was placed along The Strand in Parnell, Auckland for about two months.

But one person found the advertisement "entirely inappropriate" and so revolting that they would not drive down the Strand until it was removed.

They also said that children could see the advertisement and be frightened by it, and complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

In response to the complaint Spookers, which operates a live entertainment experience out of the former Psychiatric Hospital at Kingseat in South Auckland, said this was the first complaint about its advertising in seven years of operation.

It believed the billboard had not caused serious or widespread offence.

But the ASA found the billboard was likely to be seen by and frighten children who were not the target market and it had not been prepared with due sense of responsibility to consumers and society.

It upheld the complaint and Big Picture Media, which housed the billboard, removed the advertisement.

- APNZ

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