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Spotify's New Ad Is So Sinister, It’s Been Banned In The UK

Spotify's New Ad Is So Sinister, It’s Been Banned In The UK

Now normally when you see a sensationalist headline like the one above, you'd expect it to be a slight exaggeration. However, let me just warn you that this is fully legit - Spotify's recent advertisement is so creepy, it could easily be mistaken as a trailer for the next Conjuring film.

The ad shows a group of people who can't seem to stop listening to Camila Cabello's Havana... even though it costs them their lives. Whenever the song gets played, a creepy doll-like figure shows up to come after its victim.

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It all starts off with the song blasting above several floors of a house and awakening the doll in a dusty room. Soon after, the characters are either picked off or stalked by the doll when playing the track, until eventually one friend tries to stop another from pressing the play button.

That's when the little doll's hand intervenes and the whole thing ends in screams. The final shot shows the incredibly smart line: "killer songs you can't resist".

As a horror junky myself, I think the ad is a stroke of genius, but unfortunately moderators in the UK aren't as impressed.

Credit: Spotify
Credit: Spotify
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The ad was banned thanks to some upset parents who wrote to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after the ad was played prior to a video on the YouTube gaming channel DanTDM.

They said the footage was 'distressing' and that it was 'irresponsibly targeted'. Soon after, an ASA investigation was launched, where the clip was deemed to breach the rules of 'social responsibility', as well as harm and offence.

The YouTube channel went on to point out that only 11 percent of its viewers are aged 13 to 17, while Spotify made the very good argument that users can skip the ad after five seconds of playing. And creepy doll face guy doesn't show up until 12 seconds in.

But despite the rather solid arguments from all sides, ASA banned the ad, with a spokesman stating: "We considered that although some might find the ad mildly scary, most adult viewers would find the ad overall to be humorous rather than frightening.

"However, we did consider that the nature of the ad meant it was not suitable to be seen by children because it was likely to be distressing to them.

Credit: Spotify
Credit: Spotify

"The ad contained scenes that had tense sound effects and imagery similar to a horror film including the implied threat of violence.

"Because the ad had appeared before videos of appeal to children, we concluded that it had been inappropriately targeted."

However, now that the video's gone viral, hopefully a horror writer will catch wind of the doll-faced dude and he'll be showing up for his feature-length debut in no time at all. You heard it here first.

Featured Image Credit: Spotify

Topics: Horror film, Music, advert, Banned, UK, YouTube, Spotify

Daisy Phillipson

Daisy is a UK-based freelance journalist with too many opinions. She loves everything film and music-related and has a track record writing for Little White Lies, BWRC, and Film Daily. Contact her at [email protected]