The BBC has been criticised by Ofcom, for an episode of Top Gear broadcast on August 2nd. The episode featured a spoof remake of an advertisement for a Volkswagen Scirocco which showed a man committing suicide with a gunshot to the head, followed by blood splattering out after the impact of the bullet.
The spoof advert was shown before the 9pm watershed and resulted in 50 viewers complaining to the broadcast and communications regulator, stating that it was too graphic and unsuitable for the time it was broadcast.
Ofcom has ruled that the episode broke broadcasting rules since there was no information before the spoof advertisement which would have prepared viewers for its potentially disturbing nature and alerted adult viewers to the fact that it may be unsuitable for younger viewers.
Top Gear will return to BBC Two this Sunday, but the start time has been put back to 9pm to avoid clashing with ITV’s X Factor show. Conveniently this now places it after the watershed, so expect more antics despite the Ofcom ruling.
Incidentally, viewers also complained about the use of the word ‘pikey’ in another Top Gear episode but this was found not have breached broadcasting rules…