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‘Minority Report’ Advertising Campaign Backfires
(Zap2it.com) – Advertising watchdogs are criticizing 20th Century Fox for making unsolicited phone calls to British cinema-goers to promote the video/DVD release of the Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report.”
Eighteen people complained to the advertising standards authority after receiving a message on their mobile phones to promote the release for the Steven Spielberg-directed blockbuster.
According to media reports, a short clip from the film is used featuring a man drawing breath as people answer the phone. The voice, belonging to Cruise, says: “Where’s my Minority Report?” before screaming: “Do I even have one?” Moments later a woman’s voice replies: “No.” Only at the end of the message does it state: “Don’t miss out on your ‘Minority Report.’ Buy it now on DVD and video.”
Those who complained say that the advertisement is “offensive,” and could cause distress because it’s not clear it’s a promotion. Some owners also object to having to pay to call their answer phone to retrieve the bogus message. It is believed this is the first time anyone has attempted a voicemail campaign and it has backfired badly.
Fox Home Entertainment explains the message is sent only to people who registered their contact details on the company’s website and asked for information about film and DVD releases.
The ASA is upholding the complaints, saying consumers “would not necessarily immediately recognize the voice as being Tom Cruise’s,” believing the message could be seen as “menacing” and might “cause serious or widespread offence.”
‘Menacing’ Tom Cruise ad
LONDON, England (Reuters) — A British watchdog rapped film maker Twentieth Century Fox on Wednesday for a sending out a “menacing” mobile phone advertisement featuring the voice of actor Tom Cruise.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) criticized the company’s home entertainment arm after receiving 18 complaints from people who received the advert for the video and DVD release of the film “Minority Report” on their mobile phones.
The message used a short clip from the film beginning with a man’s voice drawing breath before Cruise asks: “Where’s my Minority Report?” He then breathes heavily before screaming: “Do I even have one?” Moments later a woman’s voice replies: “No.” Only at the end of the clip does the message reveal itself by stating: “Don’t miss out on your Minority Report. Buy it now on DVD and video.”
Complainants said they found the advertisement “offensive” and felt it could have caused distress by not making it clear it was a promotion. Others objected to having to pay to retrieve the advertisement from their voicemail.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment said the message had been sent only to people who registered their contact details on the company’s Web site and asked for information about film and DVD releases. The message was sent on a Monday morning which, the company said, would “minimize the risk of people having to retrieve the message because most people had their mobile phones switched on at that time.”
But the ASA said consumers “would not necessarily immediately recognize the voice as being Tom Cruise’s,” thought the message could be seen as “menacing” and might “cause serious or widespread offense.”
Cruise and Cruz May Team on Screen Again
HOLLYWOOD (Zap2it.com) – Hot couple Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz are in talks to star in an unusual project by Franco-U.S. production company Novem, titled “Paris Je T’Aime.” The film features 20 five-minute shorts about “falling in love in Paris” by several different directors.
If their schedules permit, Cruise and Cruz will star in a segment by Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Amores Perros”) where they play a famous couple hounded by Mexican tourists as they walk around the French city.
“We have been overwhelmed by the ballooning interest in our picture and the international talent which has put itself forward to become involved,” Novem head Emmanuel Benbihy tells Screen International. Benbihy explains that all directors are paid exactly the same, and that their crew choices are limited to first assistant and cast.
“Paris Je T’Aime” already features shorts by Brazil’s Walter Salles, China’s Jiang Wen, Japan’s Nobohiro Suwa, UK’s Tim Roth, Spain’s Fernando Trueba, Germany’s Tom Tykwer, Belgium’s Agnes Varda and Britain’s Sally Potter.