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back to article Epilepsy-triggering advert given the green light

A television advert for watches which caused a woman to have an epileptic seizure has received the approval of advertising regulators. The advert, for watches from Dolce & Gabbana (D&G), has not been banned. A woman who suffered from photosensitive epilepsy complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) having suffered …

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Anonymous Coward

Hardly statistically significant is it?

One woman claims that it triggered a seizure. You state it as fact that the advert caused it.

I wonder what the odds are that at least one person will have an epileptic fit during a commercial?

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Don't sit so close

I believe that the other relevant parameter is the area of retina stimulated by the flashing, so this ad could be preceded by a note to stand back from the screen or turn on lighting in an otherwise dark room.

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but the ASA is pants ...

The ASA is a waste of space though really, if you have ever complained to them about anything they don't do anything aside from give you justification why you are irrelevant. - so much like any other government backed organisation then.

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Call me insensitive, but...

... If you have photosensitive epilepsy, perhaps TV is not the most appropriate leisure time activity for you ?

@jeremy

That's aboslutely not true. The ASA will pull ads based on a single complaint provided you can show that the CAP Code has been breached. If the ad portrays anything that could be construed as dangerous or irresposible, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. Honestly, it's true, give it a go next time you see ad you don't like :-)

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Hardly statistically significant is it?

"One woman claims that it triggered a seizure. You state it as fact that the advert caused it.

I wonder what the odds are that at least one person will have an epileptic fit during a commercial?"

She might have been the only one who survived.

Seriously though, it's usually pretty obvious to a person what caused their photo-sensitive epilepsy.

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Dam

"Although they broke the rules there's no broken rule"

"sections exceeded the maximum allowed three flashes in a second it was not clear if it had breached other rules and there were no clear breaches of the rules overall."

Err, anyone else sees a problem here?

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Anonymous Coward

Whaaat?

Let's hear it for freedom of expression. Is there anything in Britain that *isn't* regulated? You can't make media with flashes over a certain amplitude covering a certain part of the screen?!

Has anyone sat back for a minute, had the proverbial British cuppa, and said, "By Jove, chaps, we're living in a bloody rubber room, gagged and straitjacketed! Huzzah, stiff upper lip, what what?"

It's enough to make you pine for the Thatcher era.

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Web ads

Is there any regulation for web ads? (I'm thinking of those flashing banner ads that make me feel like puking).

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@ David Wiernicki

I'm guessing you don't have epilepsy then. Either that, or perhaps you don't watch TV. Just a guess.

I don't have epilepsy, but if I did, I would still want to watch TV. Perhaps you would too. I don't know.

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Video Flashing

Didn't realize I was susceptible, but the latest GGW video, with all it's flashing, gave me a major localized seizure.

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Kid's show

There was a kid's show a few years ago that was pulled because the bright flashing lights triggered several seizures.

In the mid to late 70s, most US railroads fitted their locomotives with flashing lights. Some were in the trigger range. It didn't take long for them to be changed. About two years ago a police light bar manufacturer had to pull one of their products for the same reason.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: @ David Wiernicki

Not a good argument. I want to go run through the lion cage at the zoo buck naked, because it does seem like it would be entertaining, quite an adrenaline rush. I don't, however, because I realize it may be bad for my health. Do you argue that a paraplegic should go free climbing even though it's a known health risk?

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It can be avoided

My wife has siezures, and a simple way to avoid these seizures is to have a soft light in the room while watching TV. It only effects her when the room is totally dark. Use your brains, just 40 watts of prevention can save a lot of injury from a siezure pisode.

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Epilepsy and strobe lights

I wonder how testing was done in these situations, I recall Japanese children a few years ago, watching a cartoon show on TV and dozens fell into a semi epilepsy state.

Years ago, we conducted experiments using a Radio Shack strobe light in a dark room. Wow.!, at about 8 flashes per second, one would loose orientation and stability of footing with only a few seconds of this flash rate. It did not need a subject that was prone to epilepsy, but anyone tested would experience this phenomenon. A few people actually fell against objects, walls and furniture. Imagine this, if one were driving a vehicle and reader screens on the side of the highway presented this flash rate. eeek Keep away from 8 Hz rates...very hazardous. Seems this rate is very close to the human brains timing rate, alpha waves I think they were called.

/Jerry

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Political adverts

give me the shits...can I get them all removed?

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Anonymous Coward

I hate stupid assholes

They make me violent can we get david banned.

Oh I know it's no threat to my health but others

might be injured.

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Anonymous Coward

Web Ads

"Is there any regulation for web ads? (I'm thinking of those flashing banner ads that make me feel like puking)."

There are the W3C guidelines http://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/photo_web.html

It could be argued that providing a service that can't be used by people with photosensitive epilepsy is against the UK Disability Discrimination Act, but as there's no/little case law in the area, it would be an uphill struggle I think

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Anonymous Coward

PSE

I've done a little compliance checking and it isn't hard to tell when something will potentially be in breach. The true trigger is a series of rapid changes of contrast which the viewer experiences, so the person who says that his wife keeps a light on while watching TV is being very sensible.

Frankly as an average human I find that most of the adverts that even push close are personally unacceptable anyway. Take advertising people out and put them up against the wall.

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