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Topics include: Direct to consumer / E-commerce / Data & privacy / Martech

First Bus sorry for terrifying kids with creepy Poltergeist ads

First Bus has apologised for traumatising children for featuring ads of harrowing clown to publicise the release of the new Poltergeist movie.

A number of the firm’s buses were decked out with the creepy livery for the Poltergeist remake, sparking complaints to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).

A spokeswoman for First Group told the Evening Times: "As is common practice in the bus industry advertising on our buses is managed by an external agency. These are placed centrally, vetted against national guidelines and carried on First Bus services across the UK.

“We'd like apologise to anyone that may have been offended by these adverts and are pleased to confirm that all have now been removed."

An ASA spokeswoman told The Drum that the ad had received a total of 68 complaints in total, across a number of sources – including First Bus.

She added: “The general nature of the complaints was that children found the ad scary and that the ad appeared in untargeted media, e.g. the sides of buses.

“We are carefully accessing the complaints to establish if there are grounds for further action."

The watchdog will make a decision on the ad in the coming weeks.

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