UK cinema chains ban ads on Scottish independence referendum

UK cinema chains ban ads on Scottish independence referendum

Odeon, Vue, Cineworld and UCI say they have taken collective decision on ads after string of complaints.

The UK’s major cinema chains have banned all adverts on the Scottish independence referendum after customers inundated them with complaints.

The pro-UK Better Together campaign said the vast majority of complaints had come from supporters of Scottish independence after Better Together and another pro-UK group, Vote No Borders, flooded Scottish cinemas with adverts urging a no vote.

The Odeon and Vue cinema chains confirmed that all the major chains, including the Cineworld group and UCI, had taken a collective decision to ban all referendum advertising from 5 June, a week into the four-month-long official campaign.

It is understood the ban, which the campaigns were notified of last week, will heavily affect the pro-independence Yes Scotland.

Along with showing one advert in some cinemas this month, it had been planning a major cinema blitz this summer at the peak of campaigning before the vote on 18 September. Better Together’s cinema campaign ends next week.

A spokesperson for Yes Scotland said: “We understand there have been many complaints about the no campaign adverts. We are in touch with cinema chains about possible future screenings of yes ads, and will of course abide by their decision.”

A Vue spokeswoman said: “Following feedback from our customers, which has been duly noted, we have taken the decision not to show any further campaign adverts. Along with the other leading cinema exhibitors, we will not be continuing with any additional campaigns beyond 5 June.”

  • The Guardian, 

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