Brits Dislike Grisly 'CSI: New York' Promotion

By Christian
January 28, 2005 - 3:50 PM

See Also: 'Blink' Episode Guide

British TV channel Five has dropped a controversial promotion campaign for CSI: New York following complaints by the UK Advertising Standards Authority.

According to a report on the BBC, the channel mailed out 55,000 promotion packs to people who had previously signed up to receive information about new TV shows. The packs contained fake crime dossiers including photos of murder victims and crime scenes, as well as a 'Wanted' poster featuring the CSI: New York logo at the top. In addition, the channel sent out promotional emails suggesting the recipient was the target of a serial killer.

Despite the recipients having previously signed up to receive promotional materials, many of them apparently didn't recognise the murder dossiers as such, and Five received over a hundred complaints. The channel said it was surprised at the confusion: "In light of the efforts we have made to make the nature of the contents so transparent we are surprised a very small minority of recipients have mistaken it as anything else."

Five also heard from many recipients who praised the "originality and imagination of the campaign." Unfortunately, the British Advertising Standards Authority, and told Five to cease the campaign. Five has since complied, but is still likely to get a lot more promotional mileage out of the campaign than it had originally anticipated, as the story is being picked up by several national British media outlets.

CSI: New York will make its British television debut on Saturday the 5th of February, when Five is scheduled to air "Blink." To read more about this, check out the original BBC report. Thanks go out to AntonyF for this!

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