Satellite broadcasters VH1 and Paramount have been criticised by the UK advertising watchdog by showing a horror film advert before the 21:00 watershed.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that the advert promoting the DVD release of The Hills Have Eyes II was shown on the two channels on July 26th and 27th after 19:30.

The ad, accompanied by the voiceover stating "twice the terror – double the fear" featured a woman screaming "get me out of here please… oh my God", a gunfight, a man attacking someone with a large weapon, a woman crawling away before being dragged back and ended with a monster licking a woman's face.

The Hills Have Eyes II, certificate 18, is about a run-in between the American national guard and a cannibalistic mutant family living in the New Mexico desert.

Five people complained over the advert, two of whom had seen it on VH1 and Paramount.

All the complainants agreed that the ad was too graphic, while three said it was distressing, offensive and inappropriate.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has already said that the advert will not be shown again but stressed that it had been cleared by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) to be shown after 21:00.

And the ASA agreed that the advert "was for a horror film and the content of the film was therefore reflected in the ad", adding that it was "not excessively graphic… and unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence".

But the watchdog warned VH1 and Paramount to "take more care" in its broadcast schedules after individual errors led to the advert being shown before the 21:00 watershed.

Both channels apologised to the ASA for any distress caused by their mistakes.

28/11/2007 00:01:00