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Citroen advert banned from TV after triggering epilepsy symptoms in viewers. Ten viewers complained flashing images triggered photo-sensitive epilepsy. One viewer reported to have suffered a seizure
The adverts for the Citroen DS4 appeared on Sky, Watch, ITV, Quest and UK Gold
Changes made to prevent similar adverts from being passed in future
A TV commercial for a Citroen car has been banned after it triggered seizures in one viewer who suffers from photo-sensitive epilepsy.
Advertising watchdogs said it breached the rule that adverts must not include visual effects or techniques likely to affect viewers with the medical condition.
The adverts for the Citroen DS4 which appeared on Sky, Watch, ITV, Quest and UK Gold, showed rapidly-changing scenes and the word ‘Yes’ flashing across the screen in various forms.
Ten viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the flashing images caused the onset of symptoms associated with photo-sensitive epilepsy, while one viewer reportedly suffered a fit.
industry’s rule states: ‘Adverts must not include visual effects or
techniques that are likely to affect adversely members of the audience
with photosensitive epilepsy.’
However the TV companies said the advert had been cleared for broadcasting after it passed an industry test which analyses flashes and patterns.
The advert showed rapidly-changing scenes and the word ‘Yes’ flashing in various forms that were said to trigger symptoms of photo-sensitive epilepsy
Yes The TV companies said the advert had been cleared for broadcasting
But Ofcom experts said passing this test with the automated test equipment did not guarantee that an advert complied with the guidelines.
They advised the ASA that the large word ‘Yes’ flashing on its own in the commercial did not breach the industry code.
But they said smaller ‘Yes’ words flashing breached the rules relating to the brightness of images.
The ASA said: ‘We noted that Ofcom had identified that the ad had met all three conditions needed to be considered a breach of their guidance.
‘We also noted that several complainants had told us that they suffered symptoms associated with photo-sensitive epilepsy, including a seizure.
‘We therefore concluded that the ad had breached the code.’
It added: ‘The advert must not appear again in its current form.’
The makers of the test equipment who had approved the advert for screening have now introduced changes to prevent similar image sequences from being passed in future.
Adverts must ‘not include visual effects or techniques that are likely to affect adversely members of the audience with photosensitive epilepsy’
The advertising industry’s rule states adverts must not include visual effects or techniques that are likely to affect those with photosensitive epilepsy