A Tyneside based media company have been astonished to find that their TV commercials to promote the legendary North East comedian Bobby Thompson have been banned from being broadcast.
Bobby, who died nearly thirty years ago, was famous for using a cigarette as a prop in his act and though the actual cigarette has been digitally removed from view, the ads have been banned from being broadcast because smoke can be seen in the air which, according to advertising standards, can be seen as an encouragement to smoke.
The commercial producer Ray Laidlaw said, “I understand the dangers of passive smoking but this ad is promoting a show filmed in the 1970’s when just about everyone smoked at any public event. It’s obviously not current footage and also, we’ve used the same clips for TV commercials many times in the past without a problem. If it carries on like this we’ll have to censor Winston Churchill’s cigar.”
‘In his day Bobby Thompson was a huge star in the North East and people still laugh out loud at his jokes. His DVD is widely available and I don’t think a TV ban will put off his fans.’
Bobby Thompson prided himself on being a clean, family friendly comic but in addition to the smoke ban, four of the commercials were banned because of the content which was deemed likely to either
‘Upset the recently bereaved’
or ‘Encourage heavy drinking’