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Virgin Media pulls David Tennant Doctor Who ads

Virgin Media pulls David Tennant Doctor Who adsVirgin Media has pulled a TV ad starring former Doctor Who and current Hamlet thesp David Tennant, after a complaint received by BBC Worldwide.

The advert features Tennant showing off the finer points of Virgin Media’s TiVo box, selecting episodes of Doctor Who on-demand while Richard Branson tinkers with a time machine in the background.

We’ve had some hands-on time with the Virgin Media TiVo box ourselves; while it does let you set recordings, catch-up and watch on-demand it doesn’t let you go back to the 1970’s.

That’s not the crux of BBC Worldwide’s beef however; the Corporation filed a complaint due to the advert appearing to be an endorsement of the TiVo service by the BBC. Though BBC channels and services such as BBC iPlayer can be accessed on Virgin Media, BBC Worldwide’s guidelines state that it cannot directly endorse (or appear to endorse) any third party.

In a joint statement released to the Guardian, the two companies said: “Virgin Media has listened to concerns raised by BBC Worldwide about perceived commercial endorsement by a BBC brand relating to the recent Virgin Media advertisement that featured David Tennant and Richard Branson. As a gesture of goodwill Virgin Media has agreed to withdraw transmission of the advertisement and BBC Worldwide is now satisfied that the issue has been addressed.”

The two other TV adverts starring Tennant will continue to air. The ad can currently be seen on YouTube courtesy of TheDoctorWhoMedia.

If you’d like to keep up-to-date on developments with Virgin Media’s TiVo, follow the link to our updated strand.


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