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Kids are Frozen in fear as horror film trailer shown

Too scary: Ad for Insidious SONY/ASA/SWNS

CHILDREN were left terrified after an advert for a horror film was shown on YouTube just before a video of songs from the Disney movie Frozen.

Parents complained to watchdogs about the macabre trailer for the 15-rated flick Insidious: The Last Key.

In one scene, a young woman screams while a humanoid claws at her throat. In another, a grinning creature with fanged teeth jumps out at a woman on a hospital bed. A similar trailer triggered complaints after being seen by children wanting to watch how to build a Lego fire station and a video of kids’ cartoon PJ Masks.

Watchdogs received five complaints — three from parents whose children saw the ads and two from adults who found them ‘distressing’.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled the ads were ‘likely to cause excessive fear and undue distress’. It told Sony Pictures Releasing UK to ensure that future trailers that were unsuitable for viewing by children were ‘appropriately targeted’.

Sony said it had targeted the ads on YouTube to an adult audience. It said its agency had also added a layer of safety, including material suitable for families. YouTube said advertisers were responsible for appropriate targeting. It recommended children should view via its app YouTube Kids.