'Disturbingly psychotic' - Points of View used in the news again

 by Martin Belam, 25 November 2005

Another set of quotes from the BBC's Points of View message board has been propagating around the interweb in the news reports of the volume of complaints the BBC has been receiving about the recent Digital Television trails that have been showing.

A still from the offending BBC digital faces trail

This post has come to be seen as containing the defining phrase - 'disturbingly psychotic'

I am writing about the new advertisement for digital TV showing severed heads floating in the air and coagulating into one large talking head. As a registered psychotherapist, I wish to protest that this image is disturbingly psychotic. Its unacknowledged aggression could make a fragile viewer ill. I think you should withdraw it at once.

The quote has been used by BBC News, The Mirror and The Scotsman in their coverage of the story. The BBC has responded on the complaints site, but the advert, and the response, have been slated in message after message on Points of View.

It does seem to have touched a real nerve with some people. One host on the Points of View posted a link through to the BBC News story to show that the BBC was using quotes from the messageboard, only to be told:

no doubt you meant well, but you should have warned us there was a picture from this horror show on the page.


If the BBC continue with modernist hi-tech adverts to promote Freeview (essentially), they are leading the nation to an analogue switchoff disaster. Remember the gov only wants the frequencies to sell them. The average age of the non-switcher is probably about 63. Graphics aren't going to do it. Maybe a 'Good Old Days Channel' on Freeview will. Or maybe these people will just throw away their televisions (and license fee direct debits). Or maybe they'll cause a huge upset, forcing the DCMS to blame the BBC. You're *selling* a bad product, not building a portfolio for employment at Industrial Light and Magic.

And another thing, the BBC weather page currently sports the perfect headline:

"Snow arrives to UK"

Is there someone I can write to saying "I like that ad where all the heads come together. Please don't section me"?

>> Is there someone I can write to saying "I like that ad where all the heads come together. Please don't section me"?

Possibly, but it probably isn't here ;-)

With a couple of years of beheadings in Iraq, it is extremely insensitive to show heads floating around on a pathetic digital advert.
Mr Kember who has family who has family here in Dorset is likely to be beheaded within the week.
I demand ,repeat I demand that this advert be removed immediately. Excuses will not do.

I agree with many people on this
advertisment.I thought this strange commercial was in bad taste.CGI as a technology has powerfull visual applications and should be used more carefully especially on the national television channel.Don't they test these things out on samples of people before they air them ? I am very surprised this wasn't picked up on earlier with all of these complaints now.

And the result:


The BBC's board of governors says the corporation should not have shown a controversial trail for its digital TV services before the watershed.

Yep - I think my opinions were out of step with the rest of the UK here - I just could not at all see what the fuss was about

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