The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has upheld a complaint concerning the screening of age-restricted trailers at cinema snack counters.
The complainant argued that the trailers for the films 7 Days in Entebbe and A Quiet Place were not suitable for broadcast at the snack bar during times that children may be exposed to them.
They added that both movies were age-restricted and the trailers also had an age restriction.
According to the complainant, Ster-Kinekor shows age-appropriate trailers in a cinema before children’s movies, but shows violent trailers at the snack counter – regardless of the time of day or audience.
Ster-Kinekor countered the complaint, and said it ensured all content it displays is age-appropriate and compliant with the relevant legislation in the Films and Publications Act.
The company also clarified that classifications for trailers and movies differ.
The trailer for 7 Days in Entebbe was rated 10-12 P, while the actual movie was rated 16. A Quiet Place was rated 13, with its trailer rated 13 HV.
Ster-Kinekor said it should therefore not be assumed that films and their trailers have the same classification.
No more violent trailers
The ASA noted that it only has jurisdiction on the content of advertising and is not in a position to allocate ratings for commercials, or judge how violent a trailer’s content is.
It found that while certain trailers and movies are age-restricted, it was the rating of the trailer which is relevant to the complaint.
It said the trailers referenced in the complaint are not shown during age-appropriate movies, but in a public area where parents are unable to control the content their children are exposed to.
According to the ASA, it is highly likely that children under 13 and 10 years will be in the cinema at the times the trailers are shown, and it is difficult for parents to concentrate on what their children are viewing while in a public area.
It subsequently upheld the complaint and instructed Ster-Kinekor to only play the age-restricted trailers at times when there is no reasonable risk that children will be exposed to them.