An advert for It: Chapter Two appeared in a children’s Spotify playlist despite being deemed unsuitable for children. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has now issued a warning to the film’s distributors, Warner.
The advert was played as part of Spotify’s ‘Classical Lullabies’ playlist. Interestingly, the ASA said that Spotify claimed “they did not believe the playlist was designed primarily for children”.
This is despite the fact that the playlist, which was compiled by Spotify, included tracks labelled “Children’s Music” and “For Children” (via BBC).
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The advert featured the film’s iconic, murderous clown, Pennywise, who says: “For 27 years, I dreamt of you. I craved you. Oh, I missed you”.
The creepy line is accompanied by an undercurrent of whispers and then a siren.
Is that, popping up in-between some ‘lullabies’, going to help a small child get off to sleep? Probably not…
The advert had been tagged as being unsuitable for “kids’ music”, but somehow found its way into the playlist anyway.
As a result, the ASA has ruled that the playlist was definitely “designed primarily” for children and that the advert was likely to distress a younger audience. It also concluded that the advert was “innapropriately targeted” despite Warner requesting a target audience of 18 to 44-year-olds.
The ASA cannot impose fines but has some limited sanctions it can employ against repeat offenders.
Spotify has since removed the Classical Lullabies playlist, though a similar one has been uploaded by Spotify users.
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Back in February we saw the launch of Spotify Kids, a platform that was seemingly designed to stop incidents like this, as well as preventing kids from having access to music that contains inappropriate themes. However, Spotify Kids is a premium subscription area, so non-paying Spotify users can’t use it as a solution just yet.