A harrowing three-minute film depicting a struggling pregnant woman who ended up taking her own life has been ordered off-air.
The video was part of a campaign by Mothers Matter to raise awareness about postnatal depression and lobby the Government to provide more support to new parents.
In the film - created by Moonshine Films in partnership with Mothers Matter - a pregnant woman is trapped in a violent relationship when she discovers she's pregnant. The woman tells her partner and he leaves her.
Near the end of the film, the woman's father finds a note saying "I'm sorry", left next to her baby. She is gone and her heartbroken father petitions for change.
The film ends with the words "We approached the Government for help. They turned us away."
While it drew strong reactions from the public and politicians at the time, others including the Mental Health Foundation were concerned about it potentially triggering people struggling with their mental health, and a lack of warnings in some of the screenings.
The ASA upheld all thirteen complaints it received about the advertisement in part, finding the "confronting content could act as a trigger for vulnerable viewers of any age and was likely to cause harm to some consumers" and ordering it off-air.
The independent Commercial Approvals Bureau gave it a rating that allowed it to be broadcast any time except during children's programming.
The Complaints Board said the classification and placement of the advertisement were "inappropriate given the confronting subject matter and the depiction of a method of suicide", and should have been rated at least adults only.
The complainants said the video was triggering for vulnerable people with "graphic use of alcohol, self-harm, suicide, emotional abuse, child neglect".
It had inappropriate placement at times when children would be watching, and should have been shown after the 8.30pm watershed, they said.
Complainants also argued it breached broadcasting recommendations about suicide by showing the method of suicide and not including warning or support information, portrayed suicide as having a positive outcome and stigmatised a certain ethnicity.
In a submission to the ASA Mothers Matter founder Chloe Wright said the video portrayed a discussion that "needs to be had within our communities and with transparency by the
policy makers, the Government".
The Commercial Approvals Bureau submitted the seriousness of the subject matter "justifies causing a degree of distress".
"In our view the advertisement has been prepared and placed with a due sense of social responsibility.
"It is undeniably 'robust' and can be distressing to watch but this is surely justified by the seriousness of the issue."
The Herald ran the video the day the campaign was launched as part of news coverage about the issue, and reactions of politicians.
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