Advertising watchdogs are now investigating the TV advertisement for Phones4U, which features the ghost of a young girl haunting a woman in an underground carpark.
The TV-viewing public has branded it too scary for children, with the Advertising Standards Authority confirming it has received 341 objections – the highest number of complaints for any advertisement this year.
Angry viewers and posters on YouTube have called for the phone ad to be banned, claiming it is “unduly distressing” to children.
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Last night a spokesman for the ASA said: “I can confirm that we are investigating this advert after receiving a total of 341 complaints from viewers.
“It is claimed that the advert may be unduly distressing and is inappropriately screened for children.
We will be liaising with Phones4u and as a result of the complaints we have launched a full and thorough investigation.”
The Phones4U advertisement, which is being shown at peak times, is directed in the style of an adult horror movie.
A woman, who appears to have been shopping, is on her way back to her car in an underground car park when she sees the ghost of a young girl.
The ghost appears suddenly beside the terrified woman as she scrambles into her car, dropping her shopping bags in her haste.
The woman screams as the chilling apparition presses herself against the window.
Then the girl holds up a mobile phone and the tag line ‘missing our deals will haunt you’ is displayed with blood dripping from the text.
One commented posted on YouTube said: “I have to change the channel every time this comes on. When my five-year old brother saw this for the first time he got so scared he bashed his head and didn’t stop crying all night.
“THIS IS A HEALTH HAZARD. TAKE IT OFF TV.”
Another said: “The first time i saw it on telly, it scared the living daylights outta me.
“Seriously if they think that’s gonna attract customers then they got another thing coming lost another customer!”