Gay TV threatens legal action over ad ban

Satellite channel Gay TV is considering legal action after one of its TV ads showing two men French kissing was rejected by Channel 5 and the Broadcasting Advertising Compliance Centre.

The ad, which it tried to place after 11pm on Friday June 5, also showed one man licking another man’s face.

Chris Ratcliff, Gay TV head of programming, says: “I am talking to my lawyers about how we could proceed. I do think this was a homophobic decision.”

Uisdean Maclean, director of the BACC, refutes the charge as “nonsense”. However, he adds: “We know viewers are likely to find homosexual scenes more offensive than heterosexual ones.”

The 20-second commercial for the station, which launched last January, was scheduled for broadcast during C5’s coverage of Mr Gay UK.

In a fax to Ratcliff, the BACC outlines its problems with the ad: “Unfortunately the committee felt some of the more prolonged kissing and licking scenes might cause offence. However, if the advertisement is edited to remove the explicit shots, then the commercial will be acceptable for transmission after 11pm.”

Ratcliff says: “I am aware that I cannot depict sex in my ads, so when we came to do the ad for C5 we used kissing because I think that’s fairly inoffensive.”

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