BBC "Faces" campaign withdrawn after more than 1300 complaints


They defended it for a long time, the infamous faces advert for digital TV, but the BBC has been forced to withdraw the advert with the creepy head, made up of lots of smaller heads. At the end of November it had only received 400 complaints, but now that number has climbed to 1,300 complaints.
A spokesman for the BBC is trying to save face - heh - by stating that the trailer had simply "finished slightly early", after it "achieved its goal".

The BBC's own website is witness to how much people were genuinly creeped out by the image - comments include:
"As a registered psychotherapist, I wish to protest that this image is disturbingly psychotic. Its unacknowledged aggression could make a fragile viewer ill".
Another entry reads: "I was having my dinner when the advert came on and it was all I could do to keep my food down. The images actually made my skin crawl."

To see the creepy ass flying head, just point your browser here: Visit4info - "BBC Digital TV - Heads ". (Quicktime)

Sources: BBC defends 'digital face' trails November 23
BBC drops 'digital face' trails December 12
Freelance UK: "BBC digital ad 'too scary for children'" Nov 25, 2005
"New “Terrifying” BBC Advert’s Face Still More Attractive Than My Own" December 2

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (9)

  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    where do i send my complaint. That advert is sick.

    Dec 14, 2005
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    What exactly is the "unacknowledged agression?" And how do I get some?

    Dec 14, 2005
  • silver3's picture

    I wish I'd been the head that was the nose booger.

    Dec 14, 2005
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    Weird. Kind of cool. Good CGI.

    (Link is bad. Visit4info moved the commercial. Have to do a search on their site.)

    Feb 17, 2006
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    It's even more disturbing as a still picture. MAKE IT GO AWAY.

    What is it with the BBC and creepy self-promotion lately?

    Feb 17, 2006
  • RLDavies's picture

    This trailer featured in the satirical show "Time Trumpet" by Armando Iannucci last night (17 Aug 2006, on BBC2). "Time Trumpet" purports to be set in 2137, looking back at the early years of the 21st century.

    Apparently the trailer aroused fresh controversy around the year 2008, when excavations revealed 2000 headless corpses buried behind BBC Television Centre. A spokesman said, "As far as we can tell, the animator just went insane and filmed it all live."

    Aug 18, 2006
  • Dabitch's picture


    that is awesome. love it.

    Aug 18, 2006
  • jesse's picture
    jesse (not verified)

    Ive seen this exactly, while high on 5 tabs of lsd .

    Feb 07, 2016

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