A Hollywood movie company has offered to refund the cost of a ticket for a New Zealander who complained of false advertising because a "split-second" cliff explosion shown in the trailer of a Tom Cruise thriller wasn't in the movie.
The disgruntled viewer complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the "explosion where the whole cliff comes down" in the trailer for the movie Jack Reacher was "the defining part of the ad that made me really want to go see the movie ... aside from having Tom Cruise in it".
Paramount Pictures has admitted the error, saying the promo for the action thriller was released before the final edit of the film.
As a result, the "split-second" scene showing the cliff explosion was used to promote the movie but was cut from the film before it was shown in cinemas.
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Although the film company defended the trailer, which showed at least two other scenes not in the movie, it offered to refund the cost of the cinema ticket to the complainant, named by the ASA only as J. Congdon.
Paramount Pictures said it was a "usual and longstanding practice in the film industry that cinema trailers and television advertisements" be produced to promote a film weeks or months before completion of the film's final editing.
"Thus, despite our best intentions, it is always possible that certain scenes appearing in an advertisement or trailer may not appear in the final version of a film," the company told the ASA.
Paramount Pictures said "the explosion in question was a single split-second element omitted from a 130-minute long action film and [we] believe that, taken as a whole, the impression created by the advertisement was a true and fair reflection of the film which could not reasonably be considered misleading or deceptive to customers".
As the advertisement had ceased airing and Paramount Pictures had offered the ticket refund, the ASA deemed the complaint "settled".
The Commercial Approvals Bureau, which approved the trailer to be aired on television, believed the advertisement posed "no threat of confusion to the large majority of TV viewers", and the complaint should not be upheld.