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Is a shocking PSA from ISPCC too much for television? June 3, 2011

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) used a shocking PSA to launch its summer campaign against child abuse. The video shows a young boy being slapped, punched, thrown, and kicked, and ends with him telling viewers that he “can’t wait to grow up” so that he can help other abused children. The ISPCC stated that it wanted a PSA that was shocking enough to stir the public, but some critics are claiming that they crossed the line.

Psychologist Owen Connolly, who was quoted in Ireland’s Evening Herald, argued that the ad by ISPCC is horrific. “It will provoke all kinds of trauma,” he said, continuing “It shouldn’t be allowed to be broadcast.” The problem, Connolly suggested, is that victims of abuse especially in their 40s, 50s, and 60s will be forced to recall their own terrifying memories. “When you’ve got a shocking image like that with an adult and a child,” he argued, “it’s very difficult for them to deal with.”

To see the PSA yourself, watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why do organizations like the ISPCC feel the need to shock audiences with their advertisements?

2.  Is there a simple test to determine if an ad is too shocking?

3.  Is the ISPCC’s anti-child abuse ad inappropriate? Why, or why not?